COVID-19 restrictions strip Whistler of 2021 world luge championship

The 2021 world luge championship will not be held in Whistler, B.C., because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The championship scheduled for Feb. 5-7 was cancelled by the International Luge Federation.

“Unfortunately, a proper realization of this major event is not possible under the given conditions and regulations,” the federation’s executive director Christoph Schweiger said Wednesday in a statement.

FIL’s executive board will decide on an alternative venue in the coming weeks.

Canada’s requirement of a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from outside of the country is the biggest hurdle to holding the event, Canadian Luge Association executive director Tim Farstad said.

“The biggest challenge we currently face is a 14-day quarantine for all foreign athletes coming into Canada, which we cannot guarantee will be lifted by February,” Farstad said.

“As a result, the FIL informed us it will not be possible to host the event this year.”

The Whistler Sliding Centre was the site of the 2013 world championship.

The 2021 event was originally scheduled to be held in Calgary. The track there is closed indefinitely, so the championship was moved to Whistler.

The loss of the luge championship comes on the heels of World Cup speed skating cancellations in both Calgary and Montreal this year.

The World Cup men’s and women’s alpine downhills in Lake Louise, Alta., in November and December respectively, have also been called off.

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