As part of a major initiative to place the sport of snowshoe racing in the global spotlight, Mount Seymour Resort in British Columbia will host the World Snowshoe Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 27 – one day before the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremonies in Vancouver.
“Years of work and preparation all come to this point,” explained Dave Howells, co-owner and technical director of the World Snowshoe Invitational and the Yeti Snowshoe Series in Canada. “We’ve been working with the United States Snowshoe Association (USSSA) and other organizations to get the sport of snowshoe racing noticed by the International Olympic Committee and the media. This is our chance. This is the most important moment for the sport and its participants. What will take place on Mount Seymour on Feb. 27 will be historic.”
Over the past decade, snowshoeing enthusiasts and governing bodies for the sport have worked tirelessly to give snowshoe racing the attention it deserves as an Olympic game. Efforts to host a snowshoe demonstration race at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, failed. Later, targets were set for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
In order for snowshoe racing to become an official Olympic sport, it requires “major sponsorship and media involvement,” said Mark Elmore, sports director for the USSSA. “Plus, at least 20 countries would need to have their national Olympic organizations formally recognize a national governing body for the sport within their individual countries.”
For the sport, this is no small task, but a significant first step to gain Olympic recognition is scheduled for Feb. 27. In addition, the Yeti Canadian Snowshoe Series will host a major snowshoe race on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Mount Washington Resort in British Columbia. This race is closely scheduled to the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“The Invitational is going to piggy back on the Olympic events, despite not being formally accepted by the Olympic Committee,” said Mike Caldwell, race director for the Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series in Low, Quebec. “There is no qualifying required to compete in the Invitational, so everyone is welcome to attend, including international competitors.”
For more information about the World Snowshoe Invitational, visit http://www.theyeti.ca, http://www.snowshoeracing.com and http://www.synergyark.com/mad-trapper.html.
Stay tuned to Snowshoemag.com for more on this story and 2010 Winter Olympics news. We will have several reporters at the Games in Vancouver and will provide in-depth coverage of the snowshoe races. Snowshoe Magazine congratulates and celebrates with the organizers of the World Snowshoe Invitational. This is big news for our wonderful sport!