Italian officials made a formal request on Monday to postpone the 2021 alpine skiing world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo until March 2022.
Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò said “this is the best solution” in order to avoid the worlds being canceled or shortened.
“It’s a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best — or maybe the only thing — to do,” Malago said.
The Italian Winter Sports Federation said if the worlds were canceled it would mean a loss of 30 million euros (more than $30 million).
“Postponing the event would allow us to put forth the best in terms of tradition and Italian organization on the path toward Milan-Cortina 2026,” said Flavio Roda, the president of the Italian federation.
The Italian federation presented the proposal during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting following a joint decision by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region, and the Italian government.
A decision from the FIS is expected on July 1.
Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has accounted for more than 30,000 known deaths in Italy.
Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the 2022 Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season’s finals in Méribel and Courchevel, France.
The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.
The worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.
Cortina is also slated to host alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.
Also on Monday, the Italian federation proposed hosting a snowboard cross city event in downtown Bergamo next winter.
Bergamo, one of the hardest hit cities in Italy by the virus, is home to Olympic snowboard cross gold medalist Michela Moioli.
Bergamo is located in the Lombardy region where nearly 16,000 people —including Moioli’s grandmother — have died from the virus.
“We want to provide visibility for Bergamo,” Moioli told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Our city is not only about the coronavirus disaster. It’s true, a lot of people have died. But not everyone. We want to provide a sign of life and contribute to the reconstruction of our city’s social fabric.”
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