Science

Olympic men's downhill postponed amid strong wind

Olympic men's downhill postponed amid strong wind

Friday's training session was delayed by 30 minutes and was run on a shorter course because of gusting winds at the top of the mountain.

The downhill was supposed to be the first race of the 11-event Alpine program, and it had been scheduled for Sunday.

Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud posted the second best time after benefiting from tail-winds and said maintaining the integrity of the competition was paramount if the race needed to be rescheduled.

"I'm thankful to hear that because that's the way it should be in the Olympics".

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.




"Due to the strong wind and unfavourable forecast for today, the men's downhill is postponed", the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced.

The scheduling allows FIS to be able to tinker with the line-up, often bringing forward more technical events like slalom and giant slalom which can at a push be raced in heavy snow for instance.

With their adrenaline pumping and their precisely curved skis helping them accelerate down the course, Olympic downhill skiers eclipse speeds of 80 to 95 miles per hour, though those speeds are not necessarily sustained throughout the entire run.

"We kind of expected this downhill to be postponed due to wind, but at the same time the guys were charged up and ready to go", said Sasha Rearick, the men's alpine head coach of the United States team.

"But I am certain we will not start if it is unsafe and I think they will stage a fair race".


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