Alpine Skiing

Long-awaited start to women's speed season delayed by heavy snow in St. Moritz

Heavy snowfall and strong winds in St. Moritz forced the cancellation of a women's super-G race in the Alpine skiing World Cup on Saturday in Switzerland. Canada's Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Val Grenier are expected to compete Sunday.

Canada's Gagnon, Grenier slated to race 2nd super-G scheduled for Sunday

Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon, pictured here in St. Moritz, Switzerland, finished sixth in the women's super-G in 2013 and 2018. Saturday's race was cancelled due to heavy snowfall and strong winds in Switzerland. (Francis Bompard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images/File)

Heavy snowfall and strong winds in St. Moritz forced the cancellation of a women's super-G race in the Alpine skiing World Cup on Saturday in Switzerland.

"All efforts are now focused on [Sunday's' race hoping for better weather conditions," the International Ski Federation said.

A second super-G is scheduled Sunday, which would be the first speed race of the World Cup season. The women's circuit skipped its traditional early-season stop in Lake Louise, Alta., because of difficult travel conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Marie-Michèle Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., finished sixth in St. Moritz in 2013 and 2018.

WATCH | Marie-Michèle Gagnon eager to begin new season:

Marie-Michèle Gagnon is ready to get back to the slopes

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World cup and Olympic alpine ski racer Marie-Michèle Gagnon has anxiously awaited her return to the hill after COVID-19 halted the 2020 season. 3:06

Val Grenier also hopes to race Sunday after finishing as top Canadian in 25th in mid-October at the season-opening women's World Cup giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.

Grenier, who hails from St. Isidore, Ont., missed all of last season after breaking her right tibia (shinbone), fibula (calf bone) and ankle in February 2019 during a downhill training run in Are, Sweden.

"I am super excited to race my first speed event back since my injury," the 24-year-old told Alpine Canada this week. "I am still working very hard on getting back to where I was before the injury, so I don't have any expectations, I just want to ski my best and progress at every race."

American star Mikaela Shiffrin is not in the upscale Swiss resort after opting to focus on training in her specialist technical events of slalom and giant slalom.

St. Moritz has hosted five world championships and held a World Cup event each year since 1998.

The three-time overall World Cup champion is scheduled to compete next weekend in two giant slaloms at Courchevel, France.

WATCH | Canada's ski team begins unprecedented season:

Canada’s ski team starts unprecedented season

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Ski cross, alpine and para athletes explain how they’re pivoting off a COVID-19 off-season. 13:14

With files from CBC Sports

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