O2E Brands Whistler Cup cancelled 

Organizers turning attention to bringing the event back in 2021

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - The 2020 Whistler Cup has been cancelled because of coronavirus concerns.
  • File photo by Dan Falloon
  • The 2020 Whistler Cup has been cancelled because of coronavirus concerns.

The rash of cancellations in the sporting world because of coronavirus concerns has hit Whistler.

On March 12, organizers announced that the O2E Brands Whistler Cup, the country's premier festival for under-16 and under-14 ski racers, would be cancelled for 2020. The event, which was set to run for the 28th time, was scheduled for April 16 to 19. More than 400 skiers from roughly 20 countries were expected to take part.

Whistler Cup administrator Christine Cogger said the organizing committee had monitored the situation from the outset. With Alpine Canada and provincial organizations recommending that all domestic events be cancelled after the pandemic's spread in recent days, she said it was the only solution that made sense.

"Everything came to a head in the last 24 hours. We got together with our board of directors and then made the final decision today in light of the release of Alpine Canada," she said. "It was a variety of factors. Asking people to travel at a time when that's being discouraged, with the health and safety of our volunteers, our coaches, our participants, those were the driving factors."

Cogger said that organizers are now turning their attention to bringing the event back in 2021. The new title sponsor, O2E Brands, is onboard to return.

"We try to make it as fair as we can for everyone involved including the club, our sponsors, our parents, the athletes, and we feel that this was the most prudent solution we could take on all fronts," Cogger said when asked about the financial toll of the cancellation. "We really have great support in the ski-racing community and I think everyone understands that this is a little out of our hands.

"Had the global situation been otherwise, maybe our decision would have been different, but the reality is we're a really small piece in a really big puzzle at this point in time."

Alpine Canada announced earlier on March 12 that the Alpine NorAm Finals from March 17 to 24 and the Canadian Alpine Championships from March 25 to 28, both at Panorama Mountain Resort, were cancelled.

"We know that this decision will impact many racers, families, resorts and organizers who have put so much time and effort preparing," Vania Grandi, president and CEO of Alpine Canada, said in a release. "The health and safety of our athletes, volunteers and community must come first and for this reason we have jointly made this difficult decision."

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