Quebec City, Thursday, February 2 – It’s official: On January 15, the International Ski Federation (FIS), Quebec Winter Events Corporation and Cross Country Canada confirmed that Quebec City would be stepping up to host the FIS Cross-Country World Cup Finals this coming March 17–19. “Thanks to some extraordinary teamwork with our partners, we were able to confirm the event within such a short time frame, with barely two months to spare before the start of competition,” explained Patrice Drouin, President of event organizer Gestev. “When we hosted the Sprint Quebec World Cup in 2012 and Ski Tour Canada in March last year, we showed the whole world what a fabulous destination Quebec City is for first-class cross-country events like these.” According to FIS Race Director Pierre Mignerey, Quebec City was the perfect place to pick up the finals. “We are very pleased that Quebec City has agreed to carry the torch,” he said. “With cross-country courses right in the heart of the city and spectators showing up in large numbers, this is a welcome return to North America to wrap up the season in style.”
Entire courses located on the historic Plains of Abraham
Skiers will race in three disciplines over the long weekend of competition, starting with a Freestyle Sprint on Friday, March 17, followed by a 10/15k Classic Mass Start on Saturday, March 18 and culminating in a 10/15k Freestyle Pursuit on Sunday, March 19. Athletes can look forward to spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River from the clifftop course around Cap Diamant, with stretches alongside Old Quebec’s city walls and majestic Martello Tower and both start and finish lines on the historic Plains of Abraham. Spectators are in for a treat too, almost a year to the day after the Quebec City leg of Ski Tour Canada 2016 showcased the city’s charms. The technical details of the event will be released in the next few weeks. For now, suffice it to say that more than 150 athletes from around 20 countries will be back in Quebec City for the event. “Here on the circuit, you can really feel how stoked the athletes are to be skiing in Quebec City again,” said local favourite Alex Harvey, who is having an exceptional season so far. “Everyone had such a fantastic experience last time, and for me it’s a real privilege to be wrapping up the season on home ground.”
It’s a matter of pride for Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada to see the world’s elite cross-country skiers back on the Nordic trails in Canada. “Organizing major world-class events like this at home is a huge boost when it comes to promoting the sport all across Canada. Not only will our own elite athletes have the home advantage, the event will offer valuable World Cup experiences that might otherwise have been out of reach for our next generation of Olympic heroes,” said Shane Pearsall, CEO of Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada. “We are proud of our track record of presenting world-class events with the backing of our partners, and we are over the moon to be working with Gestev to organize these World Cup Finals that promise to be memorable for every one of the nations taking part.” When the Russian city of Tyumen pulled out of hosting the World Cup Finals, the International Ski Federation (FIS) approached Quebec City to take over the event as a matter of priority.
FIS, founded in 1924, is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee, FIS manages the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing, and Snowboarding, and sets the international competition rules. Through its 119 national federations, more than 7,000 FIS ski and snowboard competitions are staged annually. Specific initiatives are undertaken by FIS to promote winter sports, particularly for young people.
About Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada
Cross Country Ski De Fond Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada—the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 58,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners—Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, and Mackenzie—along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2dix, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, and world champions.
About Quebec Winter Events Corporation
The mission of Quebec Winter Events Corporation (QWEC) is to promote winter sports on home soil through international events such as the Sprint Quebec FIS Cross-Country World Cup and the Jamboree FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cups. In addition to attracting the world’s top winter sport athletes, QWEC works hard to support the development of amateur sport through each of its events.
Founded in 1992, Gestev is a dynamic event management company specialized in sports and cultural events. Over the years, Gestev has raised event management standards by adding a party twist to high-calibre competitions, including music shows and live entertainment, while making competitions accessible to all. Jamboree, Red Bull Crashed Ice, Transat Québec Saint-Malo, Sprint Québec, and Vélirium are just a few Gestev events. Gestev also manages Baie de Beauport and is a certified responsible event manager (BNQ 9700-253).