What a year it has been! With great optimism, the Steering Committee transitioned into the Black Tusk Nordic Events Society as the official bid Local Organizing Committee for the 2023 FIS Nordic Junior + U23 Cross Country World Ski Championships. I was fortunate to attend as an observer the 2020 Junior World’s in Oberwiesenthal, Germany where our Canadian Junior Men won the Silver Medal in the cross country relay – an amazing accomplishment. It was a great time to learn from the organizers and meet the key FIS representatives.
Upon returning to Canada, the world shut down due to COVID19 and optimism turned to uncertainty about the future. Despite the turmoil, our planning and feasibility work continued through the year and we felt confident to formalize our bid to host the 2023 Championships. In August we made the decision to formalize our application to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to host the 2023 Nordic Junior + U23 Cross Country World Ski Championships. Through the formal support of our National Sport Organizations: Nordiq Canada, Ski Jumping Canada and Nordic Combined Skiing Canada; and our FIS liaison, Canadian Snowsports Association, Black Tusk submitted its bid to host the 10-day Championship event at Whistler Olympic Park. The FIS rendered its decision during their Annual General Congress in early October and awarded Canada and Black Tusk Nordic Events Society the 2023 Championships to be hosted at Whistler Olympic Park from January 27 to February 5, 2023.
With the awarding of the Championships, Black Tusk Nordic Events Society, the host Organizing Committee, has been in full planning mode. BTNES was fully prepared to host the 2021 World Junior Trials January 2021, however, as inter-provincial travel was not permitted for sporting events, Nordiq Canada qualified the Canadian team through an alternate selection process. The good news is that a full Canadian squad of 16- to 23-year-old racers will be competing in Finland in February. As well, Ski Jumping Canada and Nordic Combined Ski Canada will have a squad of competitors in Finland to compete against the best Junior’s in the world.
For BTNES, short-term planning has refocused to host the 2021 Teck BC Cross Country Ski Championships on March 20-22, 2021 at Whistler Olympic Park. This prestigious annual event was last held at Whistler in 2016 and brings the best 600 athletes from throughout British Columbia together for sprints and distance competitions in both classic and skating techniques. BTNES is currently refining its COVID Safety Plan in collaboration with Whistler Olympic Park and provincial health and sport authorities to be fully ready for the event.
BTNES was also awarded the December 2021 FIS Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Continental Cup which has mobilized the Competition Committee to start organizing for this important test event that will bring the top athletes from North America and select European’s to Whistler Olympic Park. This will fully operationalize the K95 and K125 Ski Jumps next winter season.
BTNES will also host the March 2022 Canadian Nordic Ski Championships in cross country, ski jumping and Nordic combined. This 10-day event will bring 1,000 athletes to Whistler Olympic Park and will showcase the full attributes of the venue and serve as an excellent test event for the Organizing and Race Committees.
We were pleased to be notified by the Squamish Lillooet Regional District that our joint application for a snowmaking grant with Whistler Sport Legacies was approved by Infrastructure Canada. The $150,000 capital grant will allow Whistler Olympic Park to commence the phased installation of a snowmaking system for the cross country competition trails that will provide early season snow certainty for hosting future events.
BTNES would like to acknowledge its early supporters and sponsors. We thank CVXC (representing the 5 coastal Nordic ski clubs), Cross Country BC and Nordiq Canada for providing early seed funding. We also thank the Washington Family and its corporate affiliates – Seaspan, BN3TH Apparel and Blackcomb Snowmobile; the Carlson Family – Anthem Properties; the Szabo Family – CBRE; Bob and Kim Disbrow – Haywood; and the Reid Carter Family for their generous multi-year financial commitment.
As 2021 unfolds, we will continue to work closely with ViaSport, the Province and Nordiq Canada on COVID19 protocols to give our athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest levels.
Please browse through our website – www.blacktusknordic.com – to see more detail on our progress.
Chairperson – Local Organizing Committee
Black Tusk Nordic Events Society
FIS Nordic Junior + U23 Cross Country World Ski Championships www.blacktusknordic.com