Over a pair of warm and muggy summer days, while a number of the athletes of the U.S. Cross Country Ski were enjoying summer skiing on the Eagle Glacier in Alaska, members of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and staff from U.S. Ski & Snowboard were hosted by the Loppet Foundation - organizers of the Fastenal Parallel 45 Winter Festival - for in-depth planning meetings around the first FIS Ski World Cup Cross Country event on American soil since 2001.
When the best cross country athletes gather at Theodore Wirth Park, just a few miles west of downtown Minneapolis, on March 17, 2020 (also St. Patrick’s Day) they will be greeted by thousands of fans and a challenging 1.7k freestyle sprint course for an exciting evening event that will cap a four-day festival featuring amateur races and live music.
Eight months before miles of television and timing cable is placed, the finish stadium is built and the athletes arrive, FIS Cross Country Race Director AssistantMichal Lamplot already feels the excitement of a successful event.
“What we have seen here shows that both U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the local organizing committee are well on their way to hosting a very successful event. Everyone is enthusiastic and very well prepared. It was a great meeting, these two days, and we are sure that the event will be a success and we are very optimistic about the first (cross country) World Cup event in the U.S. after many years.”
Michal Lamplot, FIS Race Director Assistant
“The impression I received from the FIS folks is that we’re on the right track,” said Mike Bono, chairman of the local organizing committee comprised of Loppet Foundation staff and volunteers. “We have a path to get there, and we have very competent people that will get us there.”
Already more than a year of planning has gone into hosting the World Cup event, from course design to transportation planning to facilitate the arrival of the expected 20,000 fans. But the Loppet Foundation is no stranger to big events. They host events annually that draw an excess of 25,000 participants and spectators to the 759-acre park that features not only cross country skiing but snowshoeing, tubing, sledding, fat biking, and a snowboard/freeski terrain park.
Read the full article here.
Can't wait for winter? Click here to check out the FIS Cross-Country World Cup calendar 2019/20. download it to your personal online calendar and start your countdown with us for another exciting World Cup season!