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Swiss organizers plan for World Cup ski season without fans

BERN, Switzerland — No fans, no race ceremonies and no promotional villages are planned at World Cup ski events in Switzerland this season.

The Swiss ski federation said Friday it is working with local organizers to have competitions without the public as coronavirus cases peak in the Alpine nation ahead of the winter sports season.

Crowds of about 30,000 typically attend Switzerland’s signature races on back-to-back Saturdays in January — the men’s giant slalom in Adelboden and the men’s downhill in Wengen.

The 2020-21 season also includes women’s race weekends in St. Moritz and Crans-Montana, the World Cup finals week for men and women in Lenzerheide, and a ski jumping event in Engelberg.

Swiss-Ski said no grandstands will be built at those venues, nor fan villages at the races and in resort centers. Some invited guests could attend in restricted zones separated from athletes, coaches and officials.

The federation said its officials and race organizers will stay in contact with public authorities and could modify plans as the pandemic develops in Switzerland.

The World Cup ski season starts this weekend without fans for men’s and women’s giant slalom races in Sölden, Austria.

No races will be held in the United States and Canada to limit travel and quarantine restrictions for teams. The only scheduled races outside Europe are women’s speed events in China in February to test a 2022 Beijing Olympic course in Yanqing.

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