World Cup season begins Oct. 26

SOELDEN, Austria -- The Olympic ski season has been given the go-ahead to start next week.

The International Ski Federation ruled after testing the snow on the Rettenbach glacier course in Soelden on Thursday. The federation "confirmed without hesitation" that the women's and men's World Cup giant slaloms will be run Oct. 26-27.

After Soelden, the World Cup goes to Levi, Finland, for slaloms Nov. 16-17, followed by stops in the United States and Canada before the traditional races in Europe.

For many teams, the World Cup season will determine who makes the Feb. 7-23 Sochi Olympics.

Lindsey Vonn and Tina Maze have won the last two women's races in Soelden. Ted Ligety has won the men's event the past two years.

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