Women's downhill training postponed Sunday
Another day, another delay. Poor weather conditions at Whistler Creekside wrecked yet another day in the Olympic alpine schedule as Sunday's training run for Wednesday's scheduled downhill was washed out because of poor weather conditions.
The women have yet to complete a training run for either the super combined, which was originally scheduled for Sunday but moved to Thursday, or the downhill. Skiers must complete at least one training run before a race. By moving the super combined to Thursday, any training run the women complete for Wednesday's downhill will satisfy the requirement for Thursday's race, which consists of one run of downhill and one slalom run.
The women will need to complete a downhill training run either Monday or Tuesday for the women's downhill to go off as scheduled on Wednesday.
The postponements have been welcomed by American star Lindsey Vonn, still nursing a bruised shin suffered Feb. 2 while training in Austria. Vonn has not had to make a competitive run since arriving in Whistler. She will be a heavy gold-medal favorite in the downhill and super G. Moving the super combined to Thursday also helps Vonn because she won't have to test her shin in a slalom until after she runs Wednesday's downhill.
The men completed one official downhill training run on Thursday and are hoping the weather holds for Monday's downhill, which was postponed on Saturday. The weather is supposed to improve Monday.
If conditions allow, there will be seven straight days of skiing events. Here's the revised schedule:
Monday: men's downhill
Tuesday: men's super combined
Wednesday: women's downhill
Thursday: women's super combined
Friday: men's super giant slalom
Saturday: women's super giant slalom
Sunday: men's giant slalom
The remaining open days on the Olympic alpine schedule are Feb. 22, 23 and 28.
-- Chris Dufresne, in Whistler, Canada
Photo: The stands sit empty at the downhill run. Credit: George Frey, EPA.