The U.S. is scheduled to host World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding events this winter, even though the Alpine skiing World Cup is skipping its traditional North American stops.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) confirmed World Cup schedules for freestyle skiing and snowboarding for the 2020-21 season, the year before the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Three U.S. venues — Copper Mountain, Colo., Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and Deer Valley, Utah — are slated to host 22 total events with coverage on NBC Sports. All competitions are pending state and local approvals, and Copper Mountain and Deer Valley will not have spectator zones.
The first halfpipe snowboarding World Cup is scheduled for Copper Mountain from Dec. 16-19.
Olympic champions Shaun White, Chloe Kim and Jamie Anderson have been training in Switzerland, according to their social media. It’s unknown whether any plan to compete at Copper Mountain.
The second Visa Big Air contest — featuring skiing and snowboarding — is also scheduled for Copper Mountain that weekend. Last year, PyeongChang U.S. Olympians Alex Hall and Chris Corning won at the first Visa Big Air held at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.
On the weekend of Feb. 3-6, Mammoth Mountain hosts the U.S. Grand Prix for halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and snowboarding, while Deer Valley holds a freestyle skiing World Cup for aerials and moguls.
Most other upcoming winter sports schedules have been impacted by the pandemic.
It was previously announced that the Alpine skiing World Cup will not make its usual autumn stops in Killington, Vt., Beaver Creek, Colo., and Lake Louise, Alberta due to coronavirus pandemic-related travel concerns. Ski racing kicks off the overall winter sports season with giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 17-18.
Figure skating’s autumn Grand Prix Series is going ahead, but with skaters limited to one start rather than two and, for the most part, in their home nations. December’s Grand Prix Final, a 2022 Winter Olympic test event in Beijing, has been postponed. The first Grand Prix is Skate America in Las Vegas in two weeks, without ticketed spectators.
No announcement has been made about the Four Nations Cup, which was the most prestigious annual women’s hockey tournament until last year’s event was canceled due to host Sweden’s pay dispute with its players. The Four Nations Cup typically takes place in early November.
Bobsled, skeleton and luge World Cups will not have their usual stops in North America, keeping their circuits in Europe and China for Winter Olympic test events. Their seasons start in late November.
World Cups for short- and long-track speed skating in November and December were canceled.
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