Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Winter Olympics: Men's downhill pushed to Monday due to high winds

Winter Olympics: Men's downhill pushed to Monday due to high winds

The men's downhill was originally set to start 11 a.m. Sunday at Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province, but the organizers postponed the event because of an unfavorable forecast.

Conditions are favorable on the mountain, aside from winds gusting up to 45 miles per hour.

"The message we got is that they want to do the downhill from the top in fair conditions".

"We do have reserve days and if the gondola's not going to run we have a major problem".

"If that happens, I hope they give good consideration before running it because if there are tail-winds, it will have a huge impact on the race".

Chief race director Markus Waldner had flagged the possibility of postponing the downhill as early as Wednesday and contingency plans had been drawn up for an emergency meeting of the race committee to consider.

That made the decision to delay the men's downhill to Thursday a victory of sorts for NBC Universal, which paid almost $1 billion for the Pyeongchang Olympics media rights in the United States and has heavily promoted Shiffrin in the run-up to the Games.

The event was pushed back to Thursday while the men's super-G has been moved to Friday in South Korea.

"Today was right at the limit but okay for a training run", Waldner said.

It is not the first time Mother Nature has played havoc with the best laid plans for alpine skiing at the Olympics.

The event was postponed due to unsafe winds. At 10 am, we will make the decision whether to race. "With this being an outdoor sport, it is not abnormal".

"The weather happens - in and out of clouds, the wind, snow picks up, whatever", he said. "The only factor you're in charge of is how you ski".

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