Scotland is to get its first taste of elite cross country skiing in the near future, as the FIS conference last week decided to stage a World Cup event there in 2020.
“The idea has been there for a while, but now it’s determined” Vegard Ulvang, the chairman of the FIS cross-country committee told Norwegian newspaper VG.
Hopes for the world’s best racers doing laps in Cairngorm National Park are slightly premature – the event will most likely be staged in one of the cities, probably Edinburgh, on artificial snow.
“We will produce enough snow for a short track and bring ski sprint to a new country,” says Ulvang.
Scotland’s appearance on the skiing map is totally due to recent successes of Team GB racers and Scottish natives – Andrew Young from Huntly, in Northern Scotland, and Andrew Musgrave, who grew up same place.
Young is one of the world’s top sprinters, while “Muzzy” Musgrave came a sensational 4th at the World championship in Lahti this year, beating Martin Johnsrud Sundby at the finish line – the best result ever for a British Nordic skier.
Rob Young, the coach of Musgrave and Young (and the father of the latter) could not hide his joy on Twitter:
This is a fantastic opportunity for Cross Country in the UK 😀 https://t.co/I7DinftfWa
— Roy Young (@roy_y) May 29, 2017
There is one issue that remains to be settled: with the second referendum on Scottish independence looming, what will the country be called when the travelling ski racing circus descends upon Edinburgh in 2020? Don’t want to take sides or anything, but seriously, what could be more pan-European than cross country skiing in the downtown, huh? George street with a snow trail would do just fine, thank you very much.
TOP PHOTO: Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young sweating hard to bring the World Cup to Scotland
Courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/andrewyoung92