A trio of positive venue inspections went down over the past two weeks as the 2019/20 FIS Snowboard alpine World Cup season draws closer, with FIS officials meeting with organizers and officials in Moscow (RUS), PyeongChang (KOR), and at the newest stop on the parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom World Cup tour in Bannoye (RUS).
The Bannoye inspection was especially exciting, as the renowned Russia resort located some 40kms from Magnitogorsk in the Ural Mountains is slated to play host to the season-opening PSL and PGS competitions of the 2019/20 season from 7-8 December, 2019.
Bannoye will be the first of two Russian stops on the FIS Snowboard alpine World Cup tour in 2019/20, with the second coming on February first at what is always a hugely entertaining nighttime PSL event in the Russian capital of Moscow.
Though the Moscow event has yet to be officially confirmed, all signs point to this winter's competition marking the seventh season this decade that World Cup snowboard action visits the unique venue in the Russian capital, which should once again take place in the recently-upgraded part-scaffold, part-earth slope just outside of the Lushniki Stadium and on the banks of the Moscva river. And, with the Russian squad fielding one of the strongest teams in all of FIS Snowboard alpine, Moscow is always a huge draw for the local fans, as well as being a favourite stop for the athletes.
Finally, the latest inspection tour wrapped up with a visit to PyeongChang for a discussion with the Korean Federation, where all systems are "go" for a return to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games slope for the second-straight season of World Cup competition.
PGS competition at PyeongChang 2018 will be remembered for some of the most exciting moments of the entire Games, with Ester Ledecka (CZE) winning Snowboard gold just days after taking top spot in the Alpine Ski super-G event, and with Korea's own Lee Sang-ho earning the host nation's only medal in any competition at Bokwang Phoenix Park with a silver.
PyeongChang once again made history last season by becomming the first Olympic venue to host FIS Snowboard World Cup competition after its turn hosting a Games, and plans are in place to continue running top-tier competition at the resort.
"We had a very productive meeting in the Federation office in Seoul," said FIS Snowboard race director Uwe Beier, "For the moment Korea will host one PGS race this season. And, after succesful competitions last season on the slightly modified Olympic slope that we expect to see once again this season, discussions about long-term planning at the venue have been moving forward positively."
This season is set to be an especially busy one for the FIS Snowboard alpine World Cup, with 12 different venues playing host to 15 competitions from 7 December to 15 March, 2020.
Check out the full FIS Snowboard alpine World Cup calendar HERE.