The February 2021 World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships have been moved from Lake Placid, N.Y., to Altenberg, Germany, due to travel-related coronavirus concerns.
“The decision wasn’t easy as you can imagine, the bulk of athletes competing in the championships are based in Europe, so our strategy was to have less time spent in quarantine,” Heike Groesswang, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) secretary general, said in a press release.
The move was made due to “travel restrictions that have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of all athletes,” according to the IBSF.
Two weeks ago, the world luge championships, also scheduled for February, were moved out of Whistler, B.C., for similar travel concerns. The International Luge Federation said it would decide a new venue within weeks.
Other upcoming winter sports seasons have also been affected. Alpine skiing will not have its usual North American World Cup stops in November and December. Figure skating’s international Grand Prix events this autumn will have localized fields. Speed skating World Cups have already been canceled.
The bobsled and skeleton World Cup is slated to go on with a schedule to be updated later Tuesday, according to the IBSF. As of now, the first events are in late November in Sigulda, Latvia.
At last season’s world championships, also in Altenberg, Germany won all but one gold medal. American Kaillie Humphries took the two-woman bobsled title in her first season since switching from Canada.
Lake Placid is now expected to host the 2025 World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships.
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