NewsRacingUS Ski TeamWorld CupUS xc ski team says it will skip World Cup races in Russia amid Ukraine invasion

Nathaniel HerzFebruary 24, 2022

The International Ski Federation hasn’t said whether the races, in the Siberian city of Tyumen, will go off as scheduled next month.

The U.S. cross-country ski team says it will skip upcoming races in Russia amid that country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

A team official said Thursday that the Americans will skip the final weekend of racing on the top-level European World Cup circuit, which is scheduled for next month in the Siberian city of Tyumen.

Athletes take to the course for a 10 k mass start skate in Oberstdorf, Germany during the 2021/22 Tour de Ski. (Photo: NordicFocus)

The International Ski Federation, or FIS, which organizes the World Cup, has not yet said if the races will be held as planned. 

But in an email Thursday morning, Chris Grover, the U.S. team’s program director, said American athletes will not attend.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard cross country program director Chris Grover discusses whether the American team will attend the World Cup finals currently scheduled for Tyumen, RUS. (Photo: US Ski & Snowboard)

“We let the FIS and the Tyumen organizing committee know this morning that the U.S.A. would not be coming to Tyumen World Cup finals, given Russia’s attack of Ukraine,” Grover said in a brief email. “We chose to cancel the trip for the USA team because Russia remains in the Level 4 – Do Not Travel status on the State Department website and we were concerned about the safety of USA athletes and staff.”

The U.S. team recently finished competing at the Olympics in China and is scheduled to race in World Cup events in Finland this coming weekend. Grover did not immediately respond to a question about where team members might compete instead of the Tyumen events, which are scheduled for March 18-20.

It’s also possible the races could be moved out of Russia. FIS officials said earlier this month that they were monitoring the political situation in Russia and Ukraine and exploring backup venues in Scandinavia, France and Slovenia.

FIS officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.

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