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Despite Weather Challenges Officials Declare FIS World Championships A Success

Challenging weather during the FIS World Championships meant cancellations for three different finals events due to safety concerns.

US Ski and Snowboard Director of Communications Tom Webb says that canceling events is the last thing event organizers want to do but is a measure they sometimes have to resort to.

“The best planned events always have scoped to go slightly wrong,” Webb explained. “I think one of the things that hit us was, what I’m told was, a once every 15-year storm. I think people were surprised by the amount of snow that came in. I think in the end 10 days of very very good action. Obviously, it’s disappointing when we have to postpone and then cancel events. I think everybody understands that when you get these extraordinary occasions like the weather that came in you have to be able to work around that and we did. I think that even with those cancellations I think everybody was extremely happy with how those 10 days went. 100’s of millions of people tuning in around the world to look at Park City and Solitude, so I think a pretty good 10 days.”

Mayor Andy Beerman addressed a crowd gathered together for the closing ceremony for the world championships he thanked the volunteers who came out despite the difficult weather.

“So, I’m wondering if you’d signed up if you’d known this was going to be the best powder week in a decade,” Beerman joked. “Believe me I was at venues wishing ‘oh man I wish I could be up there.’ Well we appreciate your effort.”

While the Olympics often build potential delays into the schedule Webb explains that wasn’t possible for the World Championships.

“The calendar was planned an awfully long time ago,” Webb continued. “We have to take into account a number of different things. Not just the weather that’s coming in but also the day to day operations of the resorts. The resorts have been an incredibly good partner to these world championships. When they look at what we’re going to be doing on their property they have an enormous amounts of considerations as well. I think the Olympics, frankly, has the luxury of a longer time span to be able to take place. We had these 10 days and I think we had to make some allowances with those extraordinary elements that came in.”

Despite the challenges faced Mayor Beerman argued that the result of the FIS World Championships meant that the city was ready to host another Olympic games soon.

“It has really allowed us to show the world how ready and willing we are to host major games like the Olympics,” Beerman said. “In Park City we love winter sport, we love big events. We have Olympic sized and Olympic quality venues which we continue to maintain, and we are winter’s favorite town.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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