Cross-country skiing-Swedes switch pre-Olympic ski camp over COVID fears

| Sat, 15 Jan 2022 11:25:05 GMT

STOCKHOLM, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Sweden’s cross-country skiers have moved their final pre-Olympic training camp at altitude in Italy to Livigno amid reports of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in their original destination of Seiser Alm, the country’s ski federation said on Saturday.

“That (the rising number of positive tests) is why we chose to find new, more secure accommodation and we found a very good alternative in Livigno,” team manager Anders Bystrom said in a statement.

The team of 18 Swedish athletes – 17 of whom will compete at the Beijing Games and one reserve – will travel to Livigno, some 170km east of Seiser Alm, on Saturday for almost two weeks of altitude training before departing for China on Jan. 27.

“In these times, a good organisation has to be flexible and in this case, thanks to quick and careful work, we could find a better alternative than the one we first chose for our Olympic camp,” Bystrom explained.

The Swedes do not expect the shift in venue to negatively affect the preparations of the likes of three-time Olympic champion and six-time silver medallist Charlotte Kalla, who is getting ready for her fourth Games.

“Livigno is a fantastic training paradise at the same height (above sea level) as Zhangjiakou where the Olympic competitions will take place. We will be able to get optimal training in the tracks around Livigno,” Bystrom said. (Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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