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#CheerOnCanada with World Cup events

By Kristy Koehler, November 22 2018 —

Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Olympics was quashed by city residents in a Nov. 13 plebiscite. Proponents of the games cited the potential net positive economic gain, putting Calgary on the world stage and perhaps most importantly, the boost to amateur sport in the city.

Canada’s prowess as a winter sports nation can still be celebrated without the Olympics, as Calgary plays host to a series of World Cup events this winter. For many sports, World Cup events are qualifiers for the Olympics, in addition to providing an economic benefit to the host cities. 

WinSport is promoting the events using the hashtag #CheerOnCanada. Here are some highlights where you can support our amateur athletes on the world stage.


Added to the roster of Olympic sports at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, luge has historically been dominated by European countries. The Games in Sochi in 2014 marked a turning point in Canadian luge as competitors wearing the maple leaf locked down a series of fourth-place finishes. Four years later, Alex Gough, a current U of C student, gave Canada its first luge medal, taking home the bronze in Pyeongchang. Gough followed up with a silver medal in the team relay.

Calgary is the third stop on the luge World Cup circuit as WinSport hosts the 2018 Viessmann Luge World Cup and Team Relay World Cup from Dec. 7–8. In addition to watching athletes from more than 20 countries hurtle down the luge track, the two-day event will feature activities for all ages. Lugeapalooza starts at 10 a.m. both Friday and Saturday. Friday’s events include an opportunity to try the sport, free hot chocolate and popcorn for the first 150 spectators, a cash bar and a concession. Saturday offers a balloon artist, cookie decorating, airbrush tattoos, Santa Visits, another opportunity to try luge and an outdoor beer garden with live music.

On Friday, the doubles races begin at 10 a.m. and men’s races starting at 12:40 p.m., while on Saturday the women take the track at 9:40 a.m. A team relay follows at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for each day. They’re available on Eventbrite or at the gate.

Freestyle skiing:

Freestyle skiing encompasses a variety of different ski styles — aerials, moguls, ski cross, ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle. Aerials involve skiers taking off from a jump and then twisting and flipping in the air as a panel of judges evaluates their takeoff, height, form, landing and distance. Moguls involve much smaller aerial tricks as athletes ski down a piste covered with mounds of snow. Judges evaluate their time, technical difficulty of tricks and the quality of the athlete’s turns.

Halfpipe and slopestyle are both trick-based contests. Slopestyle features rails and jumps and halfpipe features a sloped channel with a ramp on the sides and a U-shaped cross section. Ski cross is the lone freestyle event without judges — the event is solely a race in heats of four down a winding course.

Four Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) freestyle World Cups are taking place in Canada this winter and two of those are in Calgary — a moguls event and a halfpipe event. The 2019 FIS Freestyle Moguls World Cup takes place at WinSport on Jan. 12, 2019. The 2019 FIS Freeski & Snowboard World Cup Halfpipe takes place the following month from Feb. 15–16. Details and tickets will be released closer to the event.


Combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, the International Biathlon Union brings the World Cup to Canmore. The event takes place at the Canmore Nordic Centre from Feb. 7–10. Men will compete in the 20-kilometre individual race, the 4×7.5-kilometre team relay and the 15-kilometre mass start. Women’s races are the 15-kilometre individual, the 4×6-kilometre team relay and the 12.5-kilometre mass start.

Tickets are available in the grandstand and range from $20–$50 but hanging out along the tracks and cheering on Canada from the sidelines is free.

Bobsleigh and skeleton:

Skeleton — like luge, but head-first — and bobsleigh — the two- or four-person sled race — are fast-paced and fun to watch. The 2019 International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation World Cup takes place at WinSport from Feb. 22–24, 2019. Details and ticket info will be released closer to the event.


Calgary already hosted the International Skating Union World Cup Short Track Speed Skating event from Nov. 2–4. From March 2–3 speedskating will be back at the Olympic Oval for the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships. The oldest and most prestigious speed skating competition in the world sees 48 long track athletes compete for the title of World Allround Champion.

Male skaters compete in the 500 metre and 5,000 metre distances on Saturday and the ladies compete in the 500 metre and 3,000 metre. Sunday’s event sees the men take to the ice for the 1,500 metre and 5,000 metre and the men compete in the 1,500 metre and 10,000 metre. Each skater competes in all four races. Tickets range from $5 to $30 and are available online. Doors open at 11 a.m., opening ceremonies take place at 11:45 a.m. and the main event kicks off at noon.

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