An announcement Thursday (Feb. 8) from BC Winter Games will melt the hopes of many on-snow athletes, due to a lack of snow in the Cariboo.
The Lhtako Quesnel 2024 Winter Games are scheduled to take place in the Quesnel area from Feb. 22-25 and while indoor events remain unchanged, those requiring snow will not move ahead as planned. Alpine skiing and freestyle events have been cancelled and cross country ski events and biathlon will be making alternative arrangements.
BC Alpine Ski, Freestyle BC, and BC Snowboard announced their withdrawal from the games, and said the decision was made after extensive consultation with coaches and the BC Games Society.
“A lack of snowpack on the mountain at Troll Ski Resort and the absence of heavy snowfall in the forecast influenced the final decision,” stated their release. Troll Ski Resort, east of Quesnel, would have been the site for alpine ski and freestyle ski events.
Mountain-based sports across B.C. have been facing shortened seasons and reduced snow packs, with the Cariboo especially hard hit this winter. Troll Ski Resort opened with a low snow pack in December but had to close intermittently to conserve what snow they had. They closed January 29 and said the season was on pause until they get more snow.
Mount Timothy Recreation Resort, in the southern Cariboo, announced their decision on January 24 they would not be opening for the season for skiing due to lack of snow.
Hallis Lake Ski Centre in Quesnel, where the cross-country and biathlon events were scheduled to take place, is also facing a lack of snow.
Biathlon BC and Cross Country BC said they will attend the games regardless of snow conditions.
Both organizations are exploring modified scenarios for on-snow competition or dryland events. Participants will be contacted directly with updated programming and preparation instructions prior to travel to the games.
The loss of these opportunities for competition will be a major loss for the young athletes who have been training towards the Winter Games and the sports organizations said they are looking for alternate opportunities for the athletes.
The indoor events and sports at the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games will still go ahead as planned.
There will be 13 sports represented and over 1,200 participants from across B.C.
The events will be supported by 1,350 host society volunteers for the Feb. 22-25 events.
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