International Snowsports Events in Russia Cancelled After Invasion of Ukraine
25th February 2022
Last modified on February 26th, 2022
The International Ski Federation has announced that all competitions due to be held in Russia for the rest of the season have been cancelled. It’s a swift about turn for FIS who had earlier indicated that World Cup events planned for this weekend would go ahead. The International Olympic Committee is urging all international sports federations to cancel all events in Russia and Belarus. NEW & UPDATED
World Cup events had been due to take place in ski cross and aerials with some athletes having travelled direct to Russia from the Beijing Olympics.
In fact, one competition started before it was abruptly called off.
On Friday morning the men’s and women’s ski cross qualification rounds at Sunny Valley near Chelyabinsk went ahead but with only Russian skiers involved.
None of the international athletes scheduled to take part, among them GB’s Ollie Davies, started the event.
Over the previous 24 hours, many governing bodies had announced they were pulling out their athletes.
In the men’s qualification round on Friday morning there should have been 61 skiers. Instead, there were six Russians.
In the women’s, 7 Russians completed qualification out of 24 on the start list.
The non-starters included the new Olympic champions, Ryan Regez of Switzerland and Sandra Näeslund of Sweden.
The remaining rounds, which should have continued over the next three days, along with all other World Cup events planned in Russia this season, have now been called off.
- The cross-country World Cup Finals in Tyumen, from March 18th to 20th.
- The last four editions of the women’s Ski Jumping World Cup March 19th and 27th, in Nizhny Tagil and Chaykovsky.
“After close consultation with its stakeholders, FIS has decided that in the interest of the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup, all remaining World Cup events scheduled to take place in Russia between now and the end of the 2021-22 season will be cancelled or moved to another location,” FIS announced in a statement.
“Consequently the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup in Sunny Valley (FEB 25-27) as well two aerials World Cup events in Yaroslavl (FEB 26-27) and Moscow (MAR 5) will not take place.
“Participants are already on site at the two World Cup events that were planned for this weekend (Ski Cross and Aerials) and FIS is working closely with the involved stakeholders to ensure their quick return back home.
“FIS will communicate the replacement competitions hosts and dates as they are confirmed for the impacted events.”
Other World Cup events had already been cancelled before the FIS announcement – a parallel snowboard competition in Moscow on Saturday and a moguls competition in Kuzbass next weekend.
Some athletes had said they would not, in any event, be competing.
Australian aerials skier, Danielle Scott, tweeted that she would be leaving Russia and not competing in Yaroslavl.
“Decision has been made to leave Russia and not compete in the final World Cups,” she said.
Decision has been made to leave Russia and not compete in the final World Cups. I can’t believe this is happening.. in the uniquely unifying power of sport, I wished so badly for this situation to be different.#RussiaUkraineConflict
— Danielle Scott (@DanielleSski) February 24, 2022
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, welcomed her decision and called for further sporting boycotts.
“I commend those Australians that are saying they won’t participate in anything that is occurring in Russia this year,” he said.
“This is the way you impose a cost on Russia that is invading its neighbour.”
In its first statement on the situation on Thursday, the IOC said it “strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government” and was concerned for the safety of the Olympic community in Ukraine.
The Olympic Truce began 7 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics opened on 4th February and ends 7 days after the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games, which take place from 4th to 13th March.
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, has reiterated his call for peace, which he made in his speeches at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in at the Beijing Games.
The resolution establishing the Olympic Truce was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2nd December by consensus of all 193 UN Member States.
Snowsports figures have joined the condemnation of the Russia invasion of Ukraine including the GB ex-Olympic skier, Martin Bell.
Russians must not be permitted to participate in any cultural, artistic or sporting events – under any flag.
This will hurt the world economy in the short term.
But western countries’ leaders should remember Neville Chamberlain.
— Martin Bell (@skimartinbell) February 24, 2022
Here at PlanetSKI we will be monitoring and updating on how the crisis may impact on the world of snowsports.