A World Cup under special auspices
In a top-class sporting event, nothing must be left to chance. In 2020, this credo has taken on even greater significance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic - accordingly, the efforts of the organizers of the speed classic in Val Gardena/Gröden to comply with all applicable pandemic precautions and to ensure the safety of everyone involved during the race week are huge.
When it became clear what a major impact the pandemic would have on the organization of a World Cup racing event, the Saslong Classic Club reacted immediately and worked out several plans together with the South Tyrolean Health Department. "After it was already decided in October to hold the races in front of empty stands and without a VIP area, we took further templates from the International Ski Federation FIS and created so-called 'bubbles' for all accredited persons. Thanks to these separate areas, we manage to keep athletes, course workers and media people apart," explains the health coordinator of the Val Gardena/Gröden race week, Dr. Patrick Franzoni.
Adherence to the rules is the be-all and end-all
In addition to this, a mandatory antigen test has been introduced for all those who want to be accredited. "Everyone who has access to the event site must show a negative test result, otherwise they must stay away from the site. With this procedure we try to also prepare for the competitions in Alta Badia," says Franzoni. If a positive test result occurs, contact tracing of the affected person will go into effect immediately. "The person tested positive will be isolated right away - then it will be decided on a case-by-case basis on how to proceed. Depending on how many people the person has been in contact with, the quarantine measures subsequently vary," Franzoni continues.
No positive test cases have yet occurred during the Saslong Classic. Franzoni is sure that the speed events at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel can proceed properly: "If everyone follows the rules, then we don't have to worry."