For the organizers of the Quebec City Cross-Country Skiing World Cup, Alex Harvey’s victory at the Mondiaux on Sunday is the cherry on a sundae of joyous coincidences and positive adventures.
“Today, I look at what is happening, the progress we have made in announcing this
Event. There are so many favorable coincidences that one does not even believe our ears and our eyes, “reacted the president of Gestev, Patrice Drouin, the day after the triumph of his fellow Saint-Ferreol-les-Neiges during the 50 km Of Lahti.
A triumph that took place a year and a day after his silver medal won during the sprint in Quebec City during the Canadian Ski Tour. The “Harvey effect” was already undeniable: there were 53,000 spectators only for this sprint on Saturday. It is assumed – and the organizers hope – that it will be tenfold, from March 17 to 19, on the Plains of Abraham. “Athletes of the caliber of Alex, you do not find that at all,” Drouin adds. It is exceptional what we live there. He’s a great athlete. ”
Gestev and its partners in Quebec City had very little time to organize the final stage of the 2016-2017 World Cup. On December 18, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announces that Russia is no longer organizing the competition, following the state doping scandal shaking the country of Vladimir Putin. Gestev is immediately approached to take over, but must give his answer before 13 January. A time trial.
That will be yes. The announcement was made two days later. In the same hours, Alex Harvey won a gold medal in the Toblach team sprint.
The main partners have followed suit without getting their ears, Drouin also rejoices, adding that they must all rub their hands, now that the great local star is a world champion. “There will be incredible media spin-offs,” he says.
Mild weather, the enemy
The only thorn in the ski boots of Drouin was pointed with the mild weather of February. The level of snow on the plains of Abraham decreased to the point where the earth was visible in some places. But the cold weather of the last few days has solved the problem, and the weather seems to want to cooperate by March 17th.
According to Drouin, the coming of the World Cup every two years becomes a realistic goal. The capital already has a place in the calendar of the FIS in December 2019. “The effort that we just made there will really help us to get that. I think we have won the confidence of the FIS. We’re going to deliver the event, and they’ll see that in two months, we took it, we lifted it and organized it. I think they’re going to get out of here and say, “Quebec has done what it takes to get a place in the cross-country skiing family.”
Holding an event in the United States would make the costly overseas trip of the athletes and their team more profitable. “I’m trying very hard to get [the Americans] to that. I’ve been working with them for a number of years, “says Drouin, who visited Central Park in 2011, hoping to organize a sprint. A project that never saw the light of day.