SSWSC says ‘no thanks’ to Continental Cup
October 8, 2008
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Nordic Program Director Todd Wilson had hoped to bring aspiring Nordic combined skiers from around the world to Howelsen Hill this December for a Continental Cup competition. But then the rules got in the way.
To be fair, it wasn’t just the rule changes that were announced by the International Skiing Federation after a meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, that doomed the event. It also was the economic woes in the United States that propelled the Winter Sports Club to pass on an opportunity to host a Continental Cup on Dec. 6 and 7 at Howelsen Hill.
“We were looking at a $35,000 swing in the wrong direction,” said Rick DeVos, Winter Sports Club’s executive director. “It just wasn’t a good decision for us. We just can’t justify that kind of loss in the current economic climate.”
Disappointed is how DeVos described the mood of the Winter Sports Club and the Nordic staff members who have been working to bring the event to Steamboat Springs.
“It’s a hit,” Wilson said. “Hosting these events is a tradition in Steamboat Springs. It’s a tradition that we don’t take lightly.”
The Continental Cup is designed for aspiring Nordic combined skiers looking for the experience and results it will take to find success on the more competitive World Cup circuit.
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The event host typically pays to set up the event and cover other costs such as travel for athletes, coaches and FIS officials who attend the event. The host also pays for the technical support needed to make the events fair and consistent.
But the rule changes announced last week results in the host paying for additional coaches and support for the event. Wilson said those added costs contributed to the Winter Sports Club’s decision to pass on the event.
“If there is somebody out there who wants to put up $50,000 for the event, we would love to have it,” DeVos said. “But right now, it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.”
The Winter Sports Club has a long history of hosting and supporting international-level Nordic combined events. World Cup events were held in Steamboat from 1994 through December 2002. Steamboat also hosted World Cup B events in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
“This is the first time we’ve ever said ‘no’ to this level of event,” Wilson said. “It was not an easy decision, and our staff is really hurting emotionally right now.
“This is the safe decision and the right decision.”