Official Statement as of March 12, 2020, at 2:30am (CST):
Due to ongoing and evolving concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the International Ski Federation, U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the local organizing committee, working in concert with local health officials, have made the difficult decision to cancel the Fastenal Parallel 45 Festival, the Coop FIS Cross Country World Cup race, and all associated events scheduled for March 14-17, 2020 in Minneapolis.
We are devastated to announce this cancelation. In keeping with updated information from the Minnesota Department of Health and after consulting with medical advisors, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our community, fans, athletes, staff and volunteers involved in these events.
We know this is not easy news for anyone – from volunteers and sponsors who have dedicated their time, talent and resources; to the athletes who have spent years training; to our staff who have poured heart and soul into preparations; to the thousands of folks who were excited about participating and spectating. Thank you for your understanding and support as we prioritize our collective well-being.
The Loppet Foundation
Coronavirus Update as of March 9, 2020, at 12:00pm (CST)
Coronavirus is all over the news. We’ve been working hard on it, and we want to share our plan. Here’s what we know . . . We have a great medical team and we are working closely with them to develop a plan for the events. We are following Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines. We are working with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the International Ski Federation (FIS) to ensure that we are taking all measures that we can to ensure that the event is as safe as it can be for all and does not contribute to the spread of the virus. See Note from the Medical Director.
We will be encouraging everyone to take simple measures that can make a big difference. Stay home if you are sick. The event will be televised. Not as good – but the responsible thing to do. We will have extra hand sanitizing stations at the event. Even so, no handshakes, hugging, or kissing at the event. Seriously. Ring your cowbell to show that you are happy to see people! Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Don’t share your beer or your brats – and really, who wants to share their beer or brats anyway? As with other sporting events, we will also skip things like autograph sessions with the athletes. A bummer, but the core of the event is the ski racing. And that will go on as planned.
A few other things that are important to note here. So far, the reported cases in Minnesota have come from outside of Minnesota. In other words, as of yet there has not been any confirmed community spread of the virus. This is, as we understand it, an important factor in the Minnesota Department of Health’s assessment on community events like this one. Also, this is an outdoor event, and our medical team tells me that this fact greatly reduces the risks of transmission because we are not all breathing the same air in a confined space.
Bottom line – we will continue to follow CDC and MDH guidelines. At this point we are going full steam ahead, but with a few simple and straightforward measures that, if we all focus on, can make a big difference in keeping us all healthy and happy. The good news is that for the most part these are measures that our parents taught us: whether it is coronavirus, the flu, or the common cold – we should all be mindful of not spreading germs. Coronavirus just helps remind us to be vigilant.
About the World Cup
For the first time in two decades, a cross-country skiing World Cup race will be held on U.S. snow. The Coop FIS Cross Country World Cup is the preeminent cross-country skiing tour held each winter and consists of a series of races across 21 venues around the world. The last time a Cross Country World Cup event was held in the U.S. was in 2001.
This year, the fastest skiers in the world — including those on the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team — will come together to compete in the World Cup Sprint Finals in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The women will race on a 1.4 km sprint course and the men will race on an expanded 1.7 km loop.
On the day of the World Cup Sprint Finals every athlete will ski a time-trial style qualifier run. Those qualifiers begin at 2:15pm. Out of the qualifiers the top thirty men and the top thirty women advance to the tournament style heats.
Heats get started at 4:45pm with quarterfinals consisting of five races of six competitors each. Quarters whittles the field from thirty to twelve, then six will advance out of semifinals to finals.
A World Cup win after a day of racing is itself a massive accomplishment – the world’s elite are measured by how many times they have stood atop World Cup podiums.
But in Minneapolis we will also crown the winners of the three day North American Sprints Mini Tour, which combine results from two days of racing in Quebec City with the Minneapolis World Cup.
And what’s more, as the Minneapolis World Cup is the final sprint race of the season it is here, on American snow, that we will present the season’s Crystal Globe to the champion of the 2020 Coop FIS Cross Country World Cup Season.
World Cup Spectator Tips & Hints
The World Cup is coming back to the United States for the first time in 20 years, so it’s natural to have questions.
Parking & Transportation
Throughout Fastenal Parallel 45, from Saturday the 14th through Tuesday the 17th, Theodore Wirth Park between Olson Memorial Highway (MN 55) and Plymouth Avenue will be closed and there will be no spectator or participant parking at Theodore Wirth Park
Spectators and participants are encouraged to walk, bike, use rideshare/dropoffs or take public transportation to the venue. Bike racks will be available and a ride service drop-off point has been designated.
Hotels & Area Attractions
Visitors will appreciate the ideal location, thoughtful amenities, and outstanding service at our partner hotels. As a World Cup spectator when you book as a guest at any of our partner hotels you’ll get a discounted rate and on-site festival information and assistance. Conveniently located in West End, our partner hotels will provide you with easy access to restaurants, shopping, and other attractions in and around downtown Minneapolis.
With an event of this scale, we need as many people as we can to help make the Fastenal Parallel 45 Winter Festival a success! We hope you will find this experience very rewarding for you and/or your group! In addition, all volunteers will receive either a commemorative Fastenal Parallel 45 Winter Festival hat or t-shirt.
Please note that there will be an extremely limited number of volunteer positions along the World Cup course, so if you would like to watch any part of the 2020 FIS Cross Country World Cup Sprint Finals races, you will still need to purchase a spectator ticket, as we are unable to provide volunteers or staff with World Cup viewing tickets.
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Loppet Foundation is committed to nurturing and protecting the natural resources entrusted to its care. With the help of our Sustainability Partner NatureWorks we are working towards a number of green initiatives for the Fastenal Parallel 45 Winter Festival and the 2020 Coop FIS Cross Country World Cup Sprint Finals.