Alpine World Cup season begins with giant slalom events in Austria

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: GENERAL VIEWS OF THE VILLAGE OF SOELDEN AHEAD OF THE OPENING SKI WORLD CUP EVENT OF THE WEEKEND / SKIERS ON SLOPES AND WALKING AROUND AFTER SKIING

SHOWS: SOELDEN, AUSTRIA (OCTOBER 16, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. SIGN FOR SOELDEN

2. CLOSE UP OF SOELDEN SIGN

3. SKIWELTCUP SIGN

4. RIVER AND VILLAGE OF SOELDEN

5. SIGN TELLING PEOPLE TO WEAR FACE MASKS

6. SNOW IN RESTAURANT GARDEN

7. CARS DRIVING IN SOELDEN

8. WOMEN WALKS UNDER SCHIWELTCUP SIGN

9. SKI BOOTS / MAN ENTERS SPORT SHOP

10. SKI POLES

11. HAT WITH SOELDEN SIGN

12. SKIS

13. RENTAL SKIS

14. POSTER FOR SKI WORLD CUP

15. STREET IN SOELDEN

16. PERSON WALKS PAST ACCREDITATION SIGN

17. COVID TEST STATION IN SOELDEN

18. MAN PERFORMS TEST IN TEST STATION

19. RETTENBAHC GLACIER AND RACE SLOPE

20. PARKING SIGNS ON GLACIER

21. SKIERS WALK TO GONDOLA ON GLACIER

22. GONDOLAS

23. SKIERS ON RACE SLOPE

24. FINISH OF RACE COURSE

25. SKIERS PACKING BAGS NEXT TO FINISH OF RACE SLOPE

26. VARIOUS OF SKIERS WITH MASKS WALK AROUND

27. SKIERS SKI DOWN NEXT TO RACE SLOPE

28. SKIERS WALK NEXT TO SLOPE

STORY: The Alpine World Cup skiing season will begin in familiar style this weekend with a meeting in the Austrian resort of Soelden, but the coronavirus pandemic threatens disruption throughout the winter.

Giant Slalom races will take place on Soelden's Rettenbach glacier just as COVID-19 cases increase across Europe. Only 200 spectators will be able to watch the races, where defending World Cup champions Federica Brignone and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde will be in action.

Events in Canada and America before Christmas have already been cancelled, but the International Ski Federation (FIS) are planning 38 men's races across the season and 34 for women.

The World Championships are still scheduled to take place in Italy in early February, while a test event is planned in China that month, where athletes will get the chance to see one of the venues that will be used in the winter Olympics in 2022.

In Soelden, competitors will be place in a bubble and undergo tests for coronavirus upon arrival, and a similar system will be in place at other venues on the calendar.

(Production: Leo Foeger and Iain Axon)

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