Calgary gives up world luge championships to Whistler, B.C., due to track shutdown

Summer Britcher of the United States reacts to her fifth place finish in the women's World Cup luge competition in Calgary in 2018. The World Cup will move to B.C. in 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Summer Britcher of the United States reacts to her fifth place finish in the women's World Cup luge competition in Calgary in 2018. The World Cup will move to B.C. in 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Calgary is handing the 2021 world luge championships to Whistler, B.C., because of the sliding track's precarious situation.

The 33-year-old track on Calgary's west side was the sliding sport venue for the 1988 Winter Olympics.

The track shut down this spring. A planned $25-million renovation is on hold until its operator WinSport can find more money to pay for it.

"We had to get a confirmation from WinSport that the track would be open for the 2021 season," Luge Canada chief executive officer Tim Farstad told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

"They couldn't do that. They can't confirm at this point it will be open. We wanted to make sure we could quickly pivot and try to keep it in Canada."

The 2021 world championships in their hometown was going to be the last for the Calgary doubles team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, who helped Canada win relay silver at the 2018 Olympic Games.

Matthew Achtymichuk