Alpine Canada To Soon Resume Training

By Ben Hamill - July 17 2020

Alpine Canada To Soon Resume Training

Timing really is everything, apparently. Not only was the Alpine skiing season one of the few sports seasons largely unphased by the global outbreak of an epic health crisis, but the 2020-21 season is scheduled to get underway in Austria later on this year in October.

Even so, not skiing for at least 4 months isn’t a situation without its perils. According to Phil McNichol, who is high-performance director for Alpine Canada, 4 months is pretty much the longest time any of the country’s Alpine athletes have gone without hitting the slopes.

For McNichol, joining Alpine Canada has been a strangely odd change of scenery. He joined Alpine Canada after having come over from the U.S. team on March 1st. This was around two weeks before the season was interjected by current circumstances.

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New Normal Is Surreal

Not only was his introduction a surreal experience, says McNichol, but the word pretty much applies to the entire situation surrounding an interrupted World Cup followed by months of no training activity. The sport in general is facing a number of changes and shake-ups, said McNichol. What’s more, it’s going to require quite a bit of doing for Canada to re-assert itself as the global leader in alpine ski-racing. The trick now, said the director, is getting through the current dilemma and emerging in one piece on the other side.

And it’s a dilemma Alpine Canada seems to have a full handle on, with the first step of working through the challenge already clearly laid out. Since Switzerland is currently experiencing its annual Northern Hemisphere winter, making it the best place to train due to its icy wintry conditions, the organisation has decided that the Canadian team will most benefit from training there too. The team will leave for Switzerland at the end of July.

Mapping The Way Forward

Health and safety guidelines will obviously apply to everyone travelling to Switzerland as part of the Canadian Alpine team. These are to include mandatory tests and quarantine periods upon leaving and again upon arrival in Switzerland. The proposed precautionary measures aren’t implemented by either the Canadian or the Swiss government but have rather been decided on as the best way forward by the organisation.

Athletes have apparently not yet been consulted about the proposed measures and travel arrangements, but a future presentation will reportedly be hosted for the purpose of feedback. Also, some athletes will be travelling to Switzerland ahead of some others due to outstanding at-home quarantine periods applying after recent returns to the country.

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