Saturday, 20 October, 2018

High winds in PyeongChang could cause marquee event to be postponed

Olympic men's downhill postponed amid strong wind 2018 Winter Olympics: Men's downhill pushed to Monday due to high winds
Frank Williams | 11 February, 2018, 13:51

The severe conditions caused organizers to shuffle other parts of the Alpine skiing schedule.

Austria's Matthias Mayer is hoping to become the first man to successfully defend an Olympic downhill gold medal.

The option of shifting the downhill forward to Saturday has already been ruled out by the International Olympic Committee so it looks like the programme will have to be rejigged.

The FIS jury and the local organizers later decided that the event will be moved to 11 a.m. Thursday, while the men's super-G will be pushed to 11:00 a.m. Friday.

Gusts of up to 50 miles per hour at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre forced the postponement.

The forecast isn't pretty for the women's giant slalom here on Monday.

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The wind conditions meant it was impossible for the gondala to transport the skiers up to the top of the course safely. The high level of risk for athletes produces high reward, as it has fans squirming in their seats as athletes squeeze past the gates.

"The wind is always stupid for us because firstly it makes the race a bit unfair and secondly it also makes it risky", said Germany's Thomas Dressen.

"Now", Rearick added, "the key is to take that energy and harness it, stay relaxed, and then be able to ramp back up".

The event was scheduled to broadcast live in the USA during NBC's primetime coverage on Saturday.

That will be the first event here for another featured racer: Lindsey Vonn, the downhill champion of the 2010 Vancouver Games, who would be making her first Olympic appearance in eight years.

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