World Pro Ski Tour championships cancelled at Taos Ski Valley

Pro Ski World Championship event at Beaver Creek, Colorado. The 2020 event is scheduled in mid-April at Taos Ski Valley, but the rise of COVID-19 in the state could change that. Courtesy image

The World Pro Ski Tour World Championships, previously scheduled for April 10-12 at Taos Ski Valley, have been canceled after the ski resort announced an early closure amid concerns over the COVID-19 virus.

The WPST announced the decision to cancel the event after Taos Ski Valley's Friday (March 13) announcement that the resort would be closed March 22. On Sunday (March 15), however, Taos Ski Valley said that it would end its 2019-2020 ski season at 5 p.m. the same day.

"The COVID-19 situation continues to develop, and while we were preparing and looking forward to the 2020 World Championships, suspending this competition is the best decision for our athletes, staff and fans,” WPST CEO Jon Franklin said in a press release on Friday (March 13). “We are in the midst of a true health crisis, and we want to do our part to help flatten the curve.”

The WPST on Saturday (March 14) announced the cancelation of the Tour Finals that was scheduled to happen on April 4-5. After that, the WPST announced that its season had come to an end.

"The World Pro Ski Tour held three successful events in the 2019-2020 season as part of a resurgence of the Tour," stated a press release on Saturday (March 14) from WPST. "This season’s events featured a new festival-style finish, big screens, live streaming coverage for the first time ever in pro ski racing, and television coverage, including a documentary series on OutsideTV and highlights show on CBS Sports Network. The 2020-2021 schedule will be announced in the coming months."

Saturday and Sunday (March 14-15), the WPST was supposed to host the Eastern Pro Championships in Waterville Valley, but canceled the event due to “growing concerns over health and safety issues.”

It was the first event cancelation by the WPST.

“With the cancellation of Waterville Valley, [New Hampshire], the tour will continue to monitor the health situation closely and will make an announcement regarding events scheduled for April – including Tour Finals at Sunday River [Maine] and World Championships at Taos Ski Valley – when appropriate,” a portion of the press release from the WPST read.

The World Championships were scheduled to happen at Taos Ski Valley on April 10-12.

New Mexico Department of Health reported 17 "presumptively positive" cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Sunday evening (March 15). None of those cases are in Taos County. Some people in the county have been tested and the results are pending.

New Mexico remains under a declaration of health emergency from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has ordered mass gatherings of more than 100 people to be canceled.

If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus infection, stay home and call the state health department help line at (855) 600-3453. For answers to all other health questions, call (833) 551-0518.

Find the latest information, precautions, recommendations and contact numbers regarding COVID-19 at the New Mexico Department of Health coronavirus site and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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