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It's snow big deal, says U.S. moguls skiers of venue conditions [Updated]

February 8, 2010 |  2:26 pm

Moguls VANCOUVER -- There was only one subject on everybody's mind when the U.S. freestyle moguls ski team met the press Monday.

Whether the snow conditions at Cypress Mountain would spoil and / or affect their competition, which is Saturday (women) and Sunday (men).

The answer was a resounding -- and unanimous -- "no'' from the eight U.S. moguls athletes.

"We've skied in hot weather, cold weather, rain, we're used to anything,'' said Heather McPhie of Bozeman, Montana.

"On ice, powder, slush,'' added Nate Roberts of Park City, Utah.

While the skiers had yet to visit the competition venue, they downplayed the impact of the general lack of snow that has forced Vancouver Olympic organizers to truck it in from elsewhere and limit training time before the competitions begin.

"We've had all these people say, 'Omigosh, there's no snow, what can you do if you can't train?' '' said three-time Olympian Shannon Bahrke of Lake Tahoe, Calif., a silver medalist in 2002.  "We're going up there to train today, and we hope to get as many training days as we can.''

"If we lose training days, so will the other athletes,'' said Hannah Kearney of Norwich, Vt.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge essentially seconded their opinion.

``We have absolutely no concern about the competitions (at Cypress), and there is no plan B,'' Rogge said Monday.

``As far as postponements, there could be some if we have a huge snowfall one day, but there will be no postponements for lack of snow.''

Moguls athletes are used to skiing on brown hills with a strip of snow down the middle, so it will hardly be disconcerting if that is the picture at Cypress.

"We're open-minded,'' Roberts said.  "Throw whatever conditions at us, and we're ready to take it on.''

Moguls has been a strong event for the U.S. since it joined the Olympic program in 1992.  The U.S. men have won a medal in four of the five Olympic moguls competitions; the women, three of five.

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: There doesn't seem a shortage Monday on the freestyle courses at Cypress Mountain. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press