Canmore, AB – Cross Country Canada announced today that World Cup cross-country ski racing will return to Canmore in December, 2012. Canmore last hosted the sport’s best racers a week before the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, when Sara Renner delighted her hometown crowd by winning a bronze medal in the sprint event.
Canada is on the World Cup schedule for at least 4 events in the 2012 – 2013 competitive season, with Canmore and Quebec City selected to each host the competitions in a week long series. Canmore will be the site of racing for the weekend of December 15 & 16, 2012, with the added possibility of a mid-week race. Race formats are still to be determined, but it is anticipated that the Canmore competitions will include one sprint and two middle distance events. A final decision on race formats will be made by the International Ski Federation (FIS) in early June.
The return of World Cup action to Canmore provides the opportunity for a new crop of talented Canadian skiers to shine on home soil. The 2012 events will mark the fourth time that the World Cup has visited Canmore since 2005, and hometown athletes have taken full advantage of opportunity to perform for their fans. Chandra Crawford will have a chance to repeat on her 2008 World Cup win, and reigning World Champions Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey will both be contenders to take the top step of the podium. The events will also mark the World Cup debut for a score of young Canadians looking to use the event as a spring board to international success.
“The World Cup in 2005 was an unbelievable event because Canadians were used to reading about Nordic skiing in places like Novo Mesto and Holmenkollen and all of a sudden it was in our back yard. We seized that opportunity to race in front of a home crowd and came away with great results,” says Sara Renner. “Now World Cup racing will return to Canmore for a fourth time and a new generation of skiers has a chance to shine. It’s great for families, it’s great for training, it’s great for our community and the health of our community. We’re really, really lucky to have these events returning again next year.”
The Alberta Government invested more than $26 million into the Canmore Nordic Centre in the lead up to the 2005 World Cup, transforming it into one of the most spectacular World Cup venues. The restoration project resulted in a world class training facility for Canadians as well as the capacity to host all formats and levels of ski and biathlon events.
“The Alberta World Cup Society is thrilled to be chosen to host these races. After successfully hosting races in Canmore in 2005, 2008 and 2010, we have the experience and the capacity to do a great job again, and we have one of the best cross-country ski racing centres in the world!” says Norbert Meier, President of the Alberta World Cup Society. “We have an incredible group of volunteers and the community of Canmore has always been 100% supportive of our efforts”, says Meier, “and we know how important it is to host international races here at home for the development of Canada’s future champion ski racers.”
Detailed planning will now begin, a key element of which will be generating sponsorships and fundraising. The Alberta World Cup Society will begin discussions with Cross Country Canada leading to an event hosting agreement.
The Alberta World Cup Society is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 with the mission of hosting international cross-country ski events to Alberta. The Society provides for athlete development and coaching development through the Canmore-based Alberta World Cup Academy, one of Canada’s top athlete development centres, and works with Cross Country Alberta in the development of race officials and volunteers.