This week on Wednesday Norway announced that it’s tightening cross-border admissions policy – again…
…Two days earlier Finland went even further, bringing back travel restrictions in the form of quarantine for several countries , including Germany and, ironically, Norway.
The COVID-19 is officially back to Europe. Not that it ever got open this year to either the North American or Russian skiers who traditionally train in Europe, at least part time.
To remind you,the first stage of the FIS World Cup is supposed to be held in Ruka, Finland in three months with Lillehammer, Norway to follow.
So, back to question we put in headline: will there be the international race season in cross country skiing?
Nobody would tell for sure, but if you asks us the prospects for a traditional full-strength season are bleak.
Most of the European countries seem to be adopting ” fortress policies” : internal restrictions are softer than they used to be in the spring, but “dangerous” foreign travellers are to be kept at bay.
All race organizers and team administrators now must be in huge stress. Do we book, cancel already or do we wait? The budgets are tight as ever while money back policies vary wildly, mostly not in favor of the travelling skiing circus actors.
With total Covid-uncertainty, is there a Plan B?
Some countries have a well developed system of internal competitions e.g. Suomen Cup in Finland where most of the best local skiers compete. Crucially, the television is there thus guaranteeing attention of sponsors. And you what? The viewership figures for the Suomen on YLE are on par with the World Cup! The pressure to have an international event is therefore low from all the stakeholders.
The Oberstdorf 2021 appears to be safe, however – as we wrote already a number of times: it’s a totally different level of money/ effort invested.