CANMORE, Alta.—The world’s best cross-country skiers are coming back to do battle on Canada’s Plains of Abraham this spring.
Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada accepted an invitation by the International Ski Federation (FIS) to host the 2017 World Cup Finals on the historic landmark in Quebec City, March 17-19.
“We are obviously thrilled to bring elite cross-country skiing back to Canada,” said Shane Pearsall, chief executive officer, Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada. “Hosting major international events at home brings tremendous benefits to our athletes, the Nordic community and the economy of the host community. CCC prides itself on staging world-leading events with our partners, and we look forward to working with GESTEV to stage a safe and fair World Cup Finals for all nations involved.”
Originally slated for Tyumen, Russia, Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada expressed its interest in December to further explore hosting the event with our sport and government partners, along with the organization’s Quebec-based event-management partner, GESTEV.
“We’re excited to announce this great news for Canadian athletes and the people of Quebec City. It’s all taking place thanks to teamwork and dialogue between numerous stakeholders,” said Patrice Drouin, President of Gestev. “An event like this reiterates our support for cross-country skiing and these remarkable athletes as well as strengthening existing ties between the FIS, the City of Quebec, the National Battlefields Commission and many more public and private event partners.”
One does not have to look back farther than the prestigious Ski Tour Canada last spring to understand the successful track record Canada has in hosting world-leading Nordic events – thanks in large part to CCC’s partners – the Winter Events Corporation and GESTEV in Quebec, the Alberta World Cup Society in Canmore and recently, Événements Nordiques Gatineau in Gatineau, Que.
“Hosting international events remains very much a part of Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada’s long-term strategic plan, and we look forward to having the World Cup back on Canada’s Nordic playgrounds,” added Pearsall. “Events at home play a critical role in our ability to promote the sport in all corners of the country, while providing home snow advantage for our elite athletes and additional World Cup starts for a next generation of Olympic heroes.”
With double the points up for grabs, hosting the World Cup Finals will bring huge advantage for hometown boy, Alex Harvey, and his Canadian teammates’ quest to charge up the overall standings.
“You always have a small advantage when racing at home so it is really exciting that we will be coming back to Quebec City for the Finals,” said Harvey, who sits fourth in the overall standings with a gold and bronze under his belt in 2017.
“Last year was a magical experience for everyone on the team, and for me personally, racing in my hometown and getting on the podium. It is exciting to have this opportunity to go back there and ski in front of my friends and family, but even more importantly to be able to race in front of the kids in Canada.”
The three-day event will include one sprint and two distance races. Exact formats and starting times will be released in the near future.
A media conference is being planned in Quebec City for later this week.