Call it a ‘double bubble’ in the works for WinSport next month.
One is for curling, already confirmed.
The other is for ski and snowboard, deemed to be in its final stages but awaiting the go-ahead from the three levels of government.
“We continue to work in close collaboration with key partners around the potential of creating a winter sport bubble in Calgary to host multiple international FIS freestyle, freeski and snowboard events this winter,” said Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard in a statement Thursday. “In a continued effort to make this a reality, significant planning has been done with the health and safety of athletes and team members, host venue staff and the public as the priority.
“While contracts have yet to be confirmed, we believe Calgary would be an excellent and safe winter-event bubble host city.”
It’s making for a busy sports winter around these parts despite the coronavirus pandemic engulfing the globe and often turning the sports world on its ear.
Curling would open the double bubble Feb. 20 at WinSport, when the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the national women’s championship, takes to the ice of the Markin MacPhail Centre. It kicks off what is slated to be a six-event schedule of national championships and Grand Slam of Curling competitions through early May.
If all goes as planned, which is contingent on drawing the necessary approval from the city, province and federal government, WinSport will then begin hosting a month-long ski and snowboard bubble at Canada Olympic Park four days later. The scheduled window is Feb. 24-March 14, which differs from previous efforts to have moguls and aerial world cups featured at the Calgary site in late January.
Also new to the revised ski and snowboard timeline, which also features slopestyle, halfpipe and big air world cups at COP, are world championships for freestyle, freeski and snowboard events, making for more bubble fun in the snow.
“All partners plan to provide an update as to the status of the event on Jan. 18,” said the joint statement from the national ski and snowboard federations.
Meanwhile, more curling dates were finalized Wednesday for the spectator-free Calgary bubble, with the national body confirming March 18-25 for the mixed doubles championship to go along with previous playdowns already earmarked for the Markin MacPhail Centre. Those include the Tim Hortons Brier, March 6-14, and the world men’s championship, April 3-11.
Two grand slams then wrap up the curling fest with The Players’ Championship and the Champions Cup sometime in the mid-April to early-May window.
Also Wednesday, Curling Canada announced the cancellation of the Canada Cup, a bonspiel in the Olympic qualifying process which had been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 after originally being slated for November in Fredericton, N.B.