Sorry to be a harbinger of bad news, but the next international season in cross country skiing is going to suck for many a team.
Good news: the season shall happen. Those resourceful Chinese have shown how to beat the nasty virus – and how long it takes. By the next November the world should be largely COVID-19 free or, at least,with a disease under control.
The problem is, while it’s still out, raging , the world top economies are suffering, badly. To put it bluntly, in the next few months both governments and private sponsors would have more pressing needs than sponsoring cross country skiing extravaganzas in the Alps.
Proper pro-teams need millions of euros per season to function and to win medals. The first sign that happy-go-lucky days are over comes from Norway ( of course)
VG reports that the number of skiers in the national team might be cut down by five.
There are currently 12 women and 15 men on the books. The writing was on the wall as the Norwegian ski association was already running negative budget pre-Corona, but now even the situation with remaining sponsors is kinda foggy.
In turn, Yelena Vyalbe, who’s squad is traditionally world’s largest, has promptly declared that she gives the female side of her team C- for their collective performance last season and that “2-3 female national team skiers will be sent to hone their skills in the internal Russian competitions”. Whether that move is related to general worsening of financial situation remains to be seen.