Swedish criticism of the World Cup decision: “It is very frustrating”

Biathlon, alpine and skicross compete as usual until the Olympics.

But for the cross-country skiers, all World Cup competitions are canceled. Something that makes the skiers direct criticism at the international ski association, Fis.

– Otherwise we will be run over by both biathlon and long distance running and the whole circus I think, says Anton Persson.

The last time a World Cup in cross-country skiing was run was when the Tour de Ski finished at the top of the Alpe di Cermis on the 4th of January.

The same evening came the news that the upcoming competitions in French Les Rousses were canceled due to the corona pandemic.

– I think it is very, very sad that they can not find solutions to carry out the competitions. I had really, really looked forward to competing in both France and Planica because I was not allowed to compete so much when I was sick, says Emma Ribom.

The Russian Olympic skiers chose to ride the long-distance cup when the competitions in France were canceled. Because in the long-distance cup as well as alpine and biathlon, the competitions have been going on as usual.

– I think that’s a little strange actually. That we can not arrange World Cup competitions when it is arranged in both alpine and biathlon, says Emma Ribom.

Emma Ribom.

Risk of being run over

She is supported by sprinter Anton Persson. The Falun skier missed the Tour de Ski due to a cold and admits that he needed more competitions before the Olympics.

– It is very strange that they can arrange competitions. Five miles from Planica, there will be an IBU Cup for young people. It takes something to be able to be more flexible about things like this, otherwise we will be run over by both biathlon and long distance running and the whole circus, I think, he says and continues:

– It’s really frustrating. You just want to compete now. For most people, the best training is to compete before the Olympics. But it is not possible to get apparently…

National team manager Anders Byström understands the riders’ frustration, but he hopes and believes that the decisions to cancel the World Cup competitions are in their own best interests.

– We do not want to go there if there is a great risk of spreading the infection. We can only hope that there will be competitions after the Olympics in any case.

Anton Persson.

Had conversation with Fis

At present, the competitions have not been replaced. This means that 5 of 28 competitions in the World Cup calendar have been deleted. Something that has made the Swedish Ski Association act.

– Yes, we have talked to Fis about it for our sponsors are also not happy that there will be no exposure opportunities for our skiers. But Fis is in the hands of the authorities and they have had a dialogue both in France and in Slovenia where it was concluded that it was not safe, says Anders Byström.

If it were to continue like this even after the Olympics, the Swedish national team manager would open up, just like last year, to arrange his own competitions with prize money.

– Last year we chose not to go, but now there are actually canceled competitions so we can not go to them. If there are no competitions after the Olympics, we will probably have to make similar solutions with our own competitions.

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Swedish criticism of the World Cup decision: “It is very frustrating”

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