The global coronavirus outbreak and ever-tightening travel restrictions have led to the difficult decision for RF (Sweden’s National Sports Federation) and SVT, in consultation with the Luleå and Boden municipalities, to cancel the week-long Sm-veckan ‘Winter Olympics’, including RallyX on Ice presented by Cooper Tires which had been due to take place on 28 March.
At the request of the Swedish Public Health Agency, the Swedish Government yesterday (11 March) introduced a temporary suspension on events with more than 500 people, coming into effect today (12 March) with an end-date yet to be specified. Sweden has joined many other countries in banning large-scale gatherings in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.
“We regrettably confirm that RallyX on Ice 2020 has been cancelled,” said Jan-Erik Steen, CEO of event promoter, RX Promotion. “Whilst clearly disappointed, we fully support RF and SVT’s decision. In all circumstances, the health of our officials, competitors and spectators must come first.
“An incredible amount of hard work has gone into preparing for the event, and we would like to extend our thanks to everybody involved in the build-up, especially all the event officials and competitors who had been looking forward to the return to racing after the long winter break.
“Rest assured, RallyX on Ice will return in 2021, and we will all do our utmost to ensure it is bigger and better than ever next year.”
“Cancelling such a big and popular event as the SM Week is a very difficult decision, but we are facing a serious situation where the Swedish Sports Federation obviously has a responsibility to help keep the spread of infection down,” added RF Chairman, Björn Eriksson.
“Of course it feels incredibly sad that we will not be able to invite fans to a big sports party with broadcasts of 20 different sports over seven days, but with the situation as it currently is in Sweden, this was a natural decision to make together with the National Sports Federation and the host cities,” echoed SVT Sports Manager, Åsa Edlund Jönsson.