LAKE LOUISE – The world cup in Lake Louise is back on FIS's calendar with an additional surprise for downhill fans.
The world's fastest alpine skiers return at the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup scheduled from Nov. 23-28 for men and Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 for women, with an extra men's downhill start added to the mix.
"To have this race before the Beijing 2022 Olympics is great for the sport and our race because it gives our athletes competing another opportunity to earn qualifying points and that's a big one for sure," said Michelle Comeau, communications manager for the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup .
The men's downhill starts are on Nov. 26 and 27, followed by super-G on Nov. 28, and the women's downhill starts are on Dec. 3-4, followed by super-G on Dec. 5.
Typically, the Lake Louise event only has one of each race for men, and two downhill and one super-G for women.
Being an Olympic year, Comeau expects alpine's big names such as Mikaela Shiffrin to compete at the Banff National Park ski hill.
"Because there was some changes to the schedule last year, some races were actually cancelled, so I think every athlete is trying to get as many starts in as possible to make sure they can qualify for the Games," she said.
Last season, FIS's North American calendar was axed due to COVID-19 and rescheduled as a European-only world cup.
"It was so disheartening last year when we had to make the right decision and give up our North American starts, especially the with U.S. there was just so much uncertainty and uncontrollable stuff last year, so we're really excited that we're getting a second men's downhill race added to the calendar for Canada and Lake Louise," said Comeau.
Alpine Canada announced its 2021-22 alpine ski team for the Olympic season which includes the Bow Valley's Erik Read, Jeff Read, Trevor Philp, Liam Wallace, and the youngest athlete named to the team this year, 18-year-old prodigy Britt Richardson.
The team also includes Marie-Michèle Gagnon; Jack Crawford; Brodie Seger; Broderick Thompson; Ali Nullmeyer; Amelia Smart; Asher Jordan; Cameron Alexander; Cassidy Gray; Erin Mielzynski; Kyle Alexander; Laurence St-Germain; Riley Seger; Roni Remme; Sam Mulligan; and Valerie Grenier.