The FIS draft for the 2005/2006 Olympic and World Cup season includes races in Canada, Japan and China.
The international Ski Federation’s (FIS) Chief of racing, Jurg Capol confirms that the race schedule draft for the 2005/2006 season includes races in Canada, Japan and possibly even China.
If approved Canada would get December 2005 races in Vernon (Silver Star) and Canmore. The World Cup finale would be in Sapporo, Japan in March 2006, this would also be pre-Worlds. Capol is also mentioning a possible 2006 race in China.
The World Cup committee is scheduled to meet on October 3. to discuss the suggestions and make their recommendation that would need final approval at the FIS-council on November 12.
– Is FIS with more World Cup races outside Europe, trying to increase the interest for cross country skiing other places in the World?
– Yes that’s correct, we're going to be holding World Cup races outside Europe at least every other year, says Capol.
Norwegian cross country chief of racing Bjornar Hokensmoen is concerned about the budget since it looks like the team might need to spend almost the entire month of December in Canada next season.
– This is in addition in a year with preparations to the Olympics, which is at altitude and requires long and costly fall altitude camps, says Hakensmoen.
[FasterSkier.com editor's note: This is the kind of hardship that North American skiers (as well as those from Japan, Autralia, and other countries) face every year in order to race in Europe.]
– We experienced a reduction in the support we are receiving from the Norwegian Olympic Committee because of their focus on the recent summer Olympics, but I’m counting on that the focus now will be the 2006 Winter Olympics and we are expecting more from the Olympic committee toward 2006.