March 22, 2018

Postponed men's downhill to be raced Thursday

11 February 2018, 01:50 | Kevin Scott

Prospects bleak for downhill if forecast holds

Disruptive winds have downhill competitors on edge at Jeongseon

Strong winds have forced organisers to postpone the men's downhill, one of the showpiece events at the Winter Olympic Games here, from today until Thursday (February 15).

The men's downhill was originally set to start 11 a.m. Sunday at Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province, but the organizers postponed the event because of an unfavorable forecast.

The weather conditions are not expected to improve for two to three days, which could cause the alpine skiing schedule to shift even further back in the Olympics.

Alpine skiing begins in Primetime tonight with the men's downhill.

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If they were unable to run the downhill before Thursday, then it would replace the Super G in the schedule with the other speed race shifting to Friday, now a rest day. Monday may not be much better with the forecast predicting winds up to 20 miles per hour and gusts up to 40. The high level of risk for athletes produces high reward, as it has fans squirming in their seats as athletes squeeze past the gates. It may move to Sunday during NBC's primetime coverage, between the women's giant slalom events scheduled nearby.

"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 USA team.

"Now", Rearick added, "the key is to take that energy and harness it, stay relaxed, and then be able to ramp back up".

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