Alpine skiing: Women's giant slalom at risk due to weather

Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:32am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - The Olympic women's giant slalom risks turning into a two-day affair, rather than the usual two legs, after officials warned teams on Monday that rain, fog and rising temperatures threatened the schedule.

The start of Tuesday's first leg was brought forward by 90 minutes to 0930 local (0530 GMT) from 1100 to try and beat the weather, but the forecast was for rain all day and it turning increasingly heavy.

The second leg has been rescheduled for 1300 local.

Women's race director Atle Skaardal prepared team captains at a meeting for the possibility that the race might run over, as was the case in Vancouver four years ago due to similar weather problems.

"In case we should be able to run the first run, but not the second run tomorrow, we will then start the second run at the next possibility," he said.

"So we are not cancelling the race totally tomorrow if the first run is working out as we hope for but we can't do the second."

Monday's official free skiing was cancelled to save the hill and softening snow from needless damage, with the Alpine center above the resort of Rosa Khutor shrouded in cloud and fog.

Some biathlon and snowboard cross events were postponed on Monday due to poor visibility.   Continued...

Thailand's Vanessa Mae (C) attends a training session ahead of the women's Alpine skiing giant slalom during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 17, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich