The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced today that all remaining World Cups in Norway are canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Due to new Covid-19 government restrictions announced today by the Norwegian government that the Norwegian Ski Association will be unable to host any further competitions through the end of the current World Cup season, due to the stricter travel and event-related restrictions,” stated the press release.
The mandate runs across the snowsport disciplines and includes cancellations for cross-country, nordic combined, and alpine skiing.
The announcement removes the storied Oslo races at Holmenkollen on March 12-14 and the Lillehammer World Cup Finals from march 19-21. Already, the Lillehammer races were postponed last year due to the government’s Covid-19 restrictions – they were originally scheduled for December 4-6.
The Norwegian Ski Federation held a tight grip on the cross-country national team this World Cup season. The federation pulled skiers from the World Cup after the opening weekend in Ruka, Finland. No Norwegians contested the Tour de Ski, and they returned to competition in Lahti, Finland on January 23 – a near two month hiatus from international racing. During that time, Norway’s biathlon team did travel and race on the IBU World Cup.
According to a Forbes story on January 27, Norway’s borders were closed except for essential travel. The new restrictions posted by the federal government are limiting. Under the guidelines, foreign athletes and team staff do not qualify for an exemption to enter Norway.
“To limit the risk of transmitting the significantly more contagious variant of the coronavirus, the Government is imposing far stricter rules on foreign nationals who seek entry to Norway,” states a government press release. “In general, only foreign nationals who reside in Norway will be permitted to enter.”
Last year on the World Cup, as the pandemic swept across the globe, the Norwegian federal government and the city of Oslo allowed the Holmenkollen events to go on without fans. The 2019-2020 World Cup finals calendered for Quebec-Minneapolis-Canmore were canceled.
According to FIS, they will announce if any replacement venues and dates are scheduled. For now, no cross-country World Cups are scheduled after the World Championships which begin on February 24. The last remaining World Cup still scheduled for this season is in Nové Město, Czech Republic on February 20-21.