Lahti, Skiing, COVID

The Lahti Ski Games, one of the most storied stages of the FIS World Cup, feels massively different this year.

COVID re-writes the rules in this year of 2021.

The organizers do what they can – all arriving athletes, officials and media are subjected to compulsory antigen throat swab with test facility open through the night.

…the precautions are justified: at least one ahthlete tested positive on arrival to Lahti: first with antigen test, than more precise PCR one. Absolutely asymptomatic, apparently…
…Eirik Nossum, Norwegian head coach has a different story to tell. Or several. For reasons not entirely clear, he keeps on getting false-positive antigen test results. First time it happened the whole team was isolated – but by now the system is worked out, he routinely gets all-clear on control tests…
…Charlotte Kalla had a real case of COVID , unfortunately – Lahti is her international debut this season…
….Ditto for Sergey Ustiugov who had to fight for team selection through regional races after long recovery…
…the US team takes precautions one step farther: the Americans use masks even on warm-up, taking them off only for intervals or actual race. Same with the Canadians, but not any other team….
…There will be no spectators on normally impressively filled Lahti stands, of course. But on Friday a group of volunteers was busy installing messages from fans to their favorite athletes. No-contact love of sorts.Best one can hope for in 2021 …
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