LISTEN: This Anchorage skier flew 3,000 miles to his first World Cup race. Now he has to quarantine.

Forrest Mahlen, right, and Thomas O’Harra, both of whom race with the Alaska Pacific University elite team, show how close they came to racing their first World Cup race in Quebec City this weekend, before it was canceled. Mahlen flew to Quebec from Anchorage, and he’s now headed back to Alaska, where he plans to quarantine himself. (Courtesy Forrest Mahlen)

Ten Alaska cross-country skiers were set to compete this weekend on the elite-level World Cup circuit when it made a rare stop on North American soil.

Forrest Mahlen, 26, flew two days across the country, from Anchorage to Quebec City, for what would have been his World Cup debut. As he and his teammates started seeing a wave of other events being canceled, they were holding out hope that the dedicated group of Quebec race organizers would hold the events anyway.

But that’s not what happened. And now he’s headed back to Anchorage, where he plans to quarantine himself because of his exposure to other athletes who came to Quebec from Europe.

Mahlen, who competes with Alaska Pacific University’s elite team, spoke from the Newark airport on his way back to Anchorage.

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