GENEVA (AP) – Two Swiss skiers who do not want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will miss the first men’s downhill race of the World Cup ski season in Canada because the country requires international visitors to take two doses. to enter.
Swiss teammates Urs Krienbühl and Ralf Weber post social media messages On Thursday he said he had recovered from a COVID-19 infection and did not want to be vaccinated before the November 27-28 race in Lake Louise, Alberta.
Vaccination status could be a major issue for winter sports athletes ahead of the Beijing Olympics, which open on February 4.
China has said that it will quarantine for 21 days – Mostly during the peak season of World Cup events in Europe – is served on any non-fully vaccinated athlete, official or worker arriving for the Olympics.
“I don’t want to be labeled a conspiracy theorist or someone like that, but we are living in extremely strange times,” Weber, 28, wrote on his website.. “The scenarios of sci-fi movies that previously most people saw as an unrealistic and impossible future are now reality.
“It doesn’t matter in Canada whether you’ve recovered or not… so with a heavy heart I will skip the race at Lake Louise.”
Lake Louise will also stage three Women’s World Cup races from December 3-5.
Team leaders were cautioned in a pre-season online meeting by International Ski Federation officials that double vaccination was the best solution to avoid travel issues in Canada and elsewhere this season.
Any male downhill skier who is not vaccinated and wants to compete at the Beijing Games must skip the sport’s signature World Cup race in mid-January to be eligible for the Olympics. The Swiss resort of Wengen and the Austrian resort of Kitzbühel are each scheduled for two downhill phases between January 14 and 22. The Olympic men’s downhill is scheduled for February 6.
Neither Krienbühl nor Weber had previously participated in the Winter Olympics. Krienbühl is a strong contender for Beijing after two third-place finishes at the World Cup last season.
Lake Louise was to race Krienbühl’s return after a crash on the final jump at Kitzbühel. He had suffered head and knee injuries in January.
“I personally have made the decision not to vaccinate at this time,” wrote Krienbuhl, 27, who said he had COVID-19 several months ago.
Weber wrote that he had become infected just a few weeks earlier with symptoms including fever, fatigue and loss of smell and taste.
Both said they hope to start their season in Colorado. Beaver Creek Resort will be staging the downhill and two Super-G races from December 3-5.
AP Sports Writer James Ellingworth in Düsseldorf, Germany, contributed to this report.