The Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup Organizing Committee was given the go ahead Saturday to host the first speed races of the 2013-14 Audi FIS World Cup season following a successful snow inspection. …Â
The International Ski Federation (FIS) confirmed the menâ€™s downhill and super-G races can take place as planned on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Lake Louise Ski Area, west of Calgary, Alta. Ladiesâ€™ World Cup downhill races are also scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7, followed by a super-G on Dec. 8.
Helmuth Schmalzl, the FIS race director for menâ€™s speed events, and Darrell MacLachlan, the menâ€™s Chief of Race, were among those who took part in the inspection, known as â€œsnow control.â€
â€œThe approval from FIS is a credit to the incredible effort of volunteers as well as the co-operation from our partners, including the Lake Louise Ski Area and all the other supporters of the event,â€ said David Hawkins, chairman of the Race Organizing Committee (ROC). â€œWe are looking forward to an exciting competition leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics where we have a record number of teams and racers coming to Lake Louise.
â€œThe Race Organizing Committee would also like to acknowledge the additional infrastructure added by the Lake Louise Ski area â€“ specifically the increased snowmaking capacity â€“ that helped make this positive snow inspection possible.â€
The Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup brings the best speed skiers in the world to Alberta. This year more than 100 male racers and 80 female racers â€“ from 21 menâ€™s teams and 18 ladiesâ€™ teams â€“ are expected to compete for downhill and super-G titles.
Canadaâ€™s menâ€™s team is set to include previous Lake Louise winners Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Jan Hudec, as well as 2011 world downhill champion Erik Guay. With qualification for nomination to Canadaâ€™s Olympic team up for grabs, thereâ€™s a lot on the line for Canadian veterans like Guay, Osborne-Paradis and Hudec, as well as talented youngsters including Ben Thomsen and Morgan Pridy.
The Canadian ladiesâ€™ team is led by Marie-MichÃ¨le Gagnon, who was fifth in Saturdayâ€™s World Cup slalom race in Levi, Finland.
Schedule: Lake Louise World Cup
|Wednesday, Nov. 27||Men’s downhill training I|
|Thursday, Nov. 28||Men’s downhill training II|
|Friday, Nov. 29||Men’s downhill training III|
|Saturday, Nov. 30||Audi FIS Ski World Cup men’s downhill (12 p.m.)|
|Sunday, Dec. 1||Audi FIS Ski World Cup men’s super-G (11 a.m.)|
|Tuesday, Dec. 3||Ladies’ downhill training I|
|Wednesday, Dec. 4||Ladies’ downhill training II|
|Thursday, Dec. 5||Ladies’ downhill training III|
|Friday, Dec. 6||Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ downhill I (12:30 p.m.)|
|Saturday, Dec. 7||Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ downhill II (12:30 p.m.)|
|Sunday, Dec. 8||Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ super-G (11 a.m.)|
*All times Mountain and subject to change
The Winterstart Festival at the Lake Louise Ski Resort kick-starts each race day at 10 a.m. A fan cheering zone and Winsport KidZone, which is free of charge, opens an hour before the race starts.