2 skiers to miss Canada’s WCup races due to vaccine mandate

Nov 3, 2021, 6:56 PM | Updated: Nov 4, 2021, 6:57 am
Italy's Hannes Zingerle prepares prior to the of an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom, in So...

Italy's Hannes Zingerle prepares prior to the of an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom, in Soelden, Austria, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

(AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

GENEVA (AP) — Two Swiss skiers that do not want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will miss the first men’s downhill race of World Cup ski season in Canada because the country requires international visitors to have two doses to enter.

Swiss teammates Urs Kryenbühl and Ralph Weber posted social media messages on Thursday saying they had recovered from COVID-19 infections and do not want to be vaccinated ahead of the races in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Nov. 27-28.

Vaccination status could be a major issue for winter sports athletes ahead of the Beijing Olympics, which open on Feb. 4.

China has said it will impose a 21-day quarantine — mostly to be served during the peak season of World Cup events in Europe — on any non-fully vaccinated athlete, official or worker arriving for the Olympics.

“I wouldn’t like to be labeled as a conspiracy theorist or someone like that, but we are living in extremely strange times,” the 28-year-old Weber wrote on his website. “Scenarios from sci-fi films which previously most people saw as an unrealistic and unliveable future are now the reality.

“It doesn’t matter in Canada whether you have recovered or not … So with a heavy heart I will forego the races in Lake Louise.”

Lake Louise will also stage three women’s World Cup races from Dec. 3-5.

Team leaders were cautioned at a pre-season online meeting by International Ski Federation officials that double vaccinations were the best solution to avoid travel issues in Canada and elsewhere this season.

Any men’s downhill skier who is not vaccinated and wants to compete at the Beijing Games likely must skip the sport’s signature World Cup races in mid-January to be eligible for the Olympics. The Swiss resort of Wengen and the Austrian resort of Kitzbühel are each scheduled to stage two downhills between Jan. 14 and 22. The Olympic men’s downhill is scheduled for Feb. 6.

Neither Kryenbühl nor Weber has previously raced at the Winter Olympics. Kryenbühl is a stronger contender for Beijing after two third-place finishes in World Cup downhills last season.

Lake Louise was to be Kryenbühl’s comeback race after a crash on the final jump in Kitzbühel in January left him with head and knee injuries.

“I have personally made the decision not to have a vaccination at the moment,” wrote the 27-year-old Kryenbühl, who said he had COVID-19 several months ago.

Weber wrote he was infected just a few weeks ago with symptoms including fever, fatigue and loss of smell and taste.

Both said they expect to make their season debuts in Colorado. The Beaver Creek resort will stage a downhill and two super-G races from Dec. 3-5.


AP Sports Writer James Ellingworth in Düsseldorf, Germany, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Ohio State's Brice Sensabaugh, right, posts up against Saint Francis' Luke Ruggery during the first...
Associated Press

No. 25 Ohio State has big 2nd half, beats St. Francis 96-59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Brice Sensabaugh led the Buckeyes with 15 points and Bruce Thornton added 13 as No. 25 Ohio State surged in the second half for a 96-59 win over St. Francis on Saturday. The Red Flash trimmed a 16-point deficit to eight in the first half, with Josh Cohen getting the first […]
1 day ago
Poland's goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, right, makes a save in front of Argentina's Nicolas Tagliafi...
Associated Press

Big day at World Cup looms for France, Poland goalkeepers

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It’s a huge day for goalkeepers with big reputations when defending champion France faces Poland in the round of 16 at the World Cup on Sunday. Hugo Lloris will tie a national team record for Les Bleus four years after lifting the trophy as captain. Opposite number Wojciech Szczesny is a […]
1 day ago
Christian Pulisic of the United States is dejected after the World Cup round of 16 soccer match bet...
Associated Press

US knocked out of World Cup, loses to the Netherlands 3-1

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Memphis Depay and Daley Blind scored in the first half and Denzel Dumfries added a late goal as the Netherlands eliminated the United States from the World Cup with a 3-1 victory Saturday that advanced the Dutch to the quarterfinals. Second-half substitute Haji Wright cut the U.S. deficit to 2-1 […]
1 day ago
South Korea's team players wait for the result of their group's match between Ghana and Uruguay, af...
Associated Press

New 48-team World Cup format fails to impress Poland coach

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The high drama of split-screen tension during simultaneous matches in the final set of World Cup group games is now a thing of the past. The next tournament in 2026 will feature 48 teams — 16 more than this year in Qatar — and use a different format that will do […]
1 day ago
Poland's Robert Lewandowski, center, works out with teammates during a training session in Doha, Qa...
Associated Press

World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Rested France faces Poland

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — France, the reigning World Cup champions, has been warned by coach Didier Deschamps not to underestimate Poland and star Robert Lewandowski in the knockout round Sunday. Les Blues breezed through the group stage and clinched a spot in the round of 16 with a game to spare, which allowed Deschamps to […]
1 day ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, left, talks to teammates during an NFL football practi...
Associated Press

Rust issues? Deshaun Watson’s long layoff could be factor

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Aside from battling the Houston Texans and some fans who are likely to taunt him, Deshaun Watson may have another not-so-visible opponent in his first NFL regular-season game in nearly two years. Rust. 700 days worth of it. Watson will make his long-awaited debut Sunday for the Cleveland Browns after serving […]
1 day ago
2 skiers to miss Canada’s WCup races due to vaccine mandate