Women’s downhill training canceled
It’s another Alpine weather wipeout: Women’s downhill training
won’t go on as planned Sunday because of heavy rain and snow.
It’s the third women’s training session that has been called off
at the Vancouver Games. Continued warm temperatures, mixed with
snow, rain and fog have wreaked havoc with the Alpine schedule, and
both the men and the women have yet to hold a race.
The women’s downhill race – American Lindsey Vonn’s top event –
is scheduled for Wednesday, leaving only two more days for training
runs to take place. Rules require that at least one training
session be held before a downhill race can begin.
The weather has forced organizers to quickly rearrange the
Alpine races. Originally scheduled to open the games on Saturday,
the men’s downhill was moved to Monday and the women’s
super-combined has been shifted from Sunday to Thursday, creating a
block of seven consecutive races in seven days.
With its location close to the Pacific Ocean, Whistler is known
for its bad weather but organizers say drier and cooler air is on
the way starting Monday. Still, all the rain and warm weather this
week has deteriorated the downhill runs into a mushy mess and it
could take some time to restore the courses into suitable condition
safe enough for high-speed racing.
“They’ve got some challenges because the top of the hill has
been receiving snow, the middle has been a mixture of snow and
rain, and the bottom has been pouring rain,” U.S. men’s head coach
Sasha Rearick said. “Three different approaches they need to take
on the hill, and they’ve been applying that very well.”
Vonn is one of the few skiers pleased with all the delays,
because it gives her bruised right shin more time to heal.