Photo: Jonathan Selkowitz

2020 Xfinity Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek cancelled

Announcement is part of unified decision from North American organizers, national federations, and FIS

Aug. 20, 2020, (8 a.m. MDT) — The local organizing committees (LOCs) that host the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in North America each year, together with the national alpine skiing federations of the United States and Canada, and in concert with the International Ski Federation (FIS), today determined to cancel the 2020 North American leg of the World Cup tour due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020-21 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup men’s and women’s calendars will adopt a new structure, and will include races in Europe only. Read the FIS statement here.

The canceled 2020 North American competitions include:

Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Lake Louise, CAN, Nov. 28-29 & Dec. 4-6, 2020
The HomeLight Killington Cup in Killington, Vt., USA, Nov. 29-Dec. 1
Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Beaver Creek, Colo., USA, Dec. 4-6

Organizers in North America released the following joint statement today:

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Canadian Snowsports Association, and the Killington, Lake Louise and Vail Valley Foundation local organizing committees would like to express our gratitude to everyone for their dedication, planning, and collaboration in recent months. Attention to detail and thoughtfulness provided a pathway to hold our events this season, but we all agreed to make this very difficult but necessary decision, in order to prioritize the best interest of our alpine world cup athletes, coaches, technicians, volunteers, media, staff, all our World Cup fans and the Alpine World Cup tour, as a whole.

Although the North American alpine venues and fans will be missed this season, we look forward to the Alpine World Cup’s return to USA and Canada for the 2021-22 season.

The Vail Valley Foundation, which serves as the LOC for the Xfinity Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek, and which has hosted annual World Cups for decades, and led the hosting of three Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek in 1989, 1999, and 2015, said the decision came after careful consideration with partners: US Ski Team, Vail Resorts and FIS.

“North America’s skiing community has tremendous spirit and resolve, and while we are saddened that, this year, we will not be able to gather in person to witness the iconic feats of athleticism that are the hallmark of the legendary Xfinity Birds of Prey, it is clear this decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of the world cup athletes, coaches, technicians, volunteers, media, staff, all of the World Cup fans, and the World Cup tour itself. We look forward to welcoming the world back to Beaver Creek in December 2021, and thank all of our partners for their hard work, thoughtful discussion, and unity throughout this process,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation.

“Each year, the North American leg of the World Cup tour is a time for our alpine skiing community to shine, not only because of the incredible achievements of our athletes, but in the work of our organizers, our course-builders, our staffers and our volunteers, who never fail to put on spectacular events,” said Tiger Shaw, President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “We look forward to the time when we can do that again, but our team, our athletes, know that their fans are still behind them, cheering for them all the way during this difficult time.”

Nadia Guerriero, Vice President and COO of Beaver Creek Resort, host mountain for the event, agreed that the cancelation is in the best interest of all parties. “We very much appreciate our partnership with the Vail Valley Foundation and their decision to prioritize the health and safety of all the athletes, coaches, employees, volunteers and many more who support Xfinity Birds of Prey. We look forward to welcoming back the event in December 2021,” Guerriero said.

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