The World Cup alpine skiing circuit will skip its traditional swing through North America in late November because of the coronavirus pandemic, the international ski federation (FIS) announced Thursday.
Two weeks of competition scheduled November 25-December 6 included men and women racing speed events in Lake Louise, Canada, before going on to the American resorts of Killington (women's technical races) and Beaver Creek (men's technical and speed races).
The events will now be staged in the French resorts of Val d'Isere and Courchevel, and St Moritz in Switzerland, with the adapted calendars to be approved in late September.
FIS said it had been forced into adopting "a different structure due to impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic".
"The objective of FIS is to carry out a full World Cup competition programme, protecting the health and welfare of all participants to the best extent possible," it said.
"The temporary re-alignment of the FIS Alpine World Cup Calendar caters to this goal by focusing on athlete safety, reducing travel, and providing competitors with a detailed competition calendar."
Markus Waldner, FIS men's chief race director, said that while the "desire and motivation to hold these races as scheduled for all parties was strong", the decision came down to a logistical issue.
"The training set-up and races in USA and Canada are very much appreciated by the teams," Waldner said.
"But ultimately, the unique logistics and situation for the early season alpine races has current travel restrictions and corresponding quarantine regulations in both directions, which led to this joint decision."
FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis added: "We are very disappointed that we could not find a way to have them on this year's Alpine calendar."
The Alpine World Cup season will kick off in Soelden, Austria on October 17-18 for the traditional giant slaloms on the Rettenbach glacier. The next stop will be the debut of Austrian host resort Lech/Zurs on November 14-15, which will feature a mens and a women's parallel race.