The World Cup is coming back to North America. A long-rumored trip became reality earlier Wednesday, when the Loppet Foundation announced that it would be hosting two races of the 2023/2024 World Cup season at Wirth Park in Minneapolis on the weekend of February 17–18, 2024.
The press release also promises two sprint races and two distance races in Canmore, Alberta, from February 9–13. No details yet on a rumored post-Wirth tie-in that would bring World Cup athletes to the 2024 American Birkebeiner. All scheduling dates are subject to confirmation by FIS at an upcoming Congress.
“We are thrilled to work with the Loppet Foundation and Share Winter Foundation to bring back a cross country World Cup to the states,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sophie Goldschmidt President and CEO said in the press release from the Loppet Foundation. “We know that this event will be a huge success and allow our athletes to showcase their incredible talent in front of a community that has always supported this sport.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the Minneapolis organization in helping raise the profile of cross country skiing as we get set to host two North American stops for the COOP FIS Cross Country World Cups,” added Norbert Meier, Events Chair at the Alberta World Cup Society, in the press release.
Wirth came tantalizingly close to hosting World Cups three years ago, as part of the ill-fated would-be North American World Cup swing in early-Covid March 2020. The last World Cup race actually held in this country was the pre–Olympics World Cup weekend at Soldier Hollow in 2001. Canada has hosted World Cup races multiple times since.
Again, these race dates will not be final-final until they are approved by FIS, likely at this year’s Spring Congress in May.
You can find out more information from the press release here.
Update: Jessie Diggins is excited.
Zak Ketterson is hyped.
Julia Kern is really excited.
Ben Ogden wants more chainsaw.
— Gavin Kentch