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2022 World Cup ski races on schedule but will they be the last ones at Lake Louise?

Germany's Thomas Dressen reacts in the finish area following his run in the men's World Cup downhill ski race at Lake Louise, Alta., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jeff McIntosh) Germany's Thomas Dressen reacts in the finish area following his run in the men's World Cup downhill ski race at Lake Louise, Alta., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jeff McIntosh)
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It's all systems go for upcoming men's and women's World Cup downhill and super-G races, for at least one more year.

Beyond that, all bets appear to be off.

That's because after 30 years of hosting World Cup downhill ski races, this could be the final time Albertans get to see the world's fastest ski racers compete in Banff National Park.

The races were first hosted in December 1992, attracting thousands of fans, who came to see the biggest names in the sport including Austrian Hermann "the Herminator" Maier, American superstar Lindsey Vonn, who has a run named after her, and several generations of Canadian ski stars.

Alpine Canada issued a release Friday stating conditions and snowfall are both on schedule for the men's races, which take place Nov.25-27 at Lake Louise.

The women's events take place Dec.2-4 at Lake Louise, before likely moving across the country to Mont-Tremblant, Que. in 2023.

Alpine Canada received conditional approval from skiing's world governing body for women's giant slalom races to be held northwest of Montreal from 2023 to 2025.

Asked by CTV News whether 2022 would be the final men's and women's events held at Lake Louise, Ken Kilroe, chief of media for the Lake Louise Alpine World Cup, said, in an email, "Yes this is partially true. There is no women's speed race in Canada on the FIS calendar for next year. There is a men's race on the calendar for next year but no venue."

Switzerland's Lara Gut skis during the women's Super-G FIS Ski World Cup in Lake Louise, Ab., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

OVERLAPPING DATES

The women's GS races in Quebec would overlap Alberta's women's downhills on the same weekend, if the latter remains where it is on the calendar.

Alpine Canada CEO Therese Brisson told the Canadian Press in late October that Alpine Canada remains committed to hosting men's speed races in Western Canada.

The International Ski and Snowboard Association (FIS) has yet to release a race itinerary for 2023-24.

"Whether there will be women's speed on the calendar in North America at all is still to be determined," Brisson said. "My priority is definitely to land men's speed in the west."

A published report in Austria said 2022 was the last year for Lake Louise's World Cup races, citing FIS race director Klaus Waldner, although Brisson disputed that statement in her interview with CP.

"It would be premature to say that, for sure," Brisson said. "When I asked resorts who would be interested in hosting a men's World Cup whether it be in early winter in the traditional time-slot, or in February … pleasantly a number of resorts put up their hand and said they were interested.

"Lake Louise is part of that conversation as well."

-With files from The Canadian Press and Glenn Campbell

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