High winds delay Olympic men's downhill

Posted February 15, 2018

According to Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated, the women's giant slalom was postponed, meaning there has yet to be an alpine skiing finals event at these Games because of high winds.

In one of her more lyrical moments, Mikaela Shiffrin described the difference between slalom and downhill, the two events at the extreme ends of alpine skiing, in musical terms. Swiss slalom specialist Wendy Holdener is world champion in an event that could be the tightest race between Shiffrin and Vonn.

Anderson's compatriot Hailey Langland, who fell on the first run but put in a solid second effort to finish sixth, disagreed. "The girls on the podium showed that and that is why they are up there".

"Got picked up in the wind on the bottom jump in practice and my ACL was not a big fan!" she posted on Instagram.

"For me, that was like a defining moment that I needed to take a step back and get a couple days of rest and then get back into training", Shiffrin said.

Sung Baik You, spokesman for local organising committee POCOG, said it was hard to forecast the wind.

"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 U.S. team.

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"We can expect quite a challenging day tomorrow", said chief race director Markus Waldner. High-speed winds are in the forecast again.

Eight years ago in Vancouver, Viktoria Rebensburg was a 20-year-old Olympic gold medalist in the giant slalom.

After the men's downhill and women's slopestyle events were postponed on Sunday, strong gusts caused further rescheduling on day three of the Games.

Disruption to the Alpine skiing schedule has been a regular feature of the Winter Olympics over the years with organizers leaving plenty of room for maneuver in the scheduling.

The first run of the giant slalom has been moved forward by 45 minutes to 9.30 am local time (0030 GMT) on Thursday with the second run starting at 1.15 pm, allowing a window clear for the men's downhill to take centre stage at 11 am.

Their first preference of moving the race forward to Saturday had been ruled out by the International Olympic Committee.

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