After delays, new Olympic ski schedule in works
By HOWARD FENDRICH,
Updated February 13, 2010
WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) After postponing the first two Alpine events, the International Ski Federation is considering a revamped schedule for the Vancouver Olympics that would squeeze seven races into seven days.
Men's race director Guenter Hujara revealed the tentative plan after the competition-opening men's downhill was postponed Saturday because of warm, wet weather that's turned the slopes to mush.
The downhill officially was shifted to 10:30 a.m. Monday, which originally was slated to be an off day.
The proposal then would keep the men's super-combined on Tuesday, followed by the women's downhill - U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn's signature event - on Wednesday. The women's super-combined, which originally was to be run Sunday and has been postponed indefinitely, would move to Thursday, another slot left open on the Olympic calendar.
The schedule then could pick up as normal, with the men's super-G race Friday, the women's super-G the next day, and the men's giant slalom on Feb. 21.
After that, only three races would remain with a full week left of the Winter Games. The new plan, though, has not yet been confirmed.
"Our first concern," Hujara said, "is having the best possible conditions and the best safety we can deliver for the athletes."
Repeated snow, rain, fog and too-warm temperatures have turned the Olympic slopes into a soft, mushy mess too dangerous to be used for high-speed skiing. The forecast for the weekend called for a mix of rain, sleet and snow, although the weather is supposed to clear up sometime next week.
Only one of six downhill training runs for men and women was completed as planned so far, although a women's downhill practice has been scheduled for Sunday.