BEIJING (AP) – The last Alpine skiing race of the Beijing Olympics was moved from yesterday to today because of too-strong wind, making Mikaela Shiffrin wait to get one last chance to bring home a medal from China.
Gusts at up to about 65 kilometres per hour led to the announcement of two one-hour delays for the mixed team parallel event, before the International Ski Federation eventually said it would not be possible to hold the competition at all yesterday.
About 75 minutes later, after what the ski federation called a meeting “to discuss the potential rescheduling of the event,” the race was shifted to today at 9am.
The 2022 Olympics ends today.
Snow was being blown around yesterday and the blue and red gate flags were whipping along the race course known as Ice River at the National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing zone, about 90 kilometres northwest of central Beijing. Gondola service up to the race site was temporarily paused.
This was only the second time the team event has been part of the Alpine programme at a Winter Games after making its debut at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
Athletes go head-to-head on parallel giant slalom courses during a series of heats, and each nation is represented by both women and men.
Only one of the 10 athletes who earned an individual Alpine gold in Beijing was listed on the team rosters released on Friday: Austria’s Johannes Strolz. He won the men’s combined last week and also picked up a silver in slalom on Wednesday.
The team event would be Shiffrin’s sixth race of the Beijing Games. The two-time gold medalist at previous Olympics was named to the United States (US) team event roster that was slated to face Slovakia in the opening round.