Olympics Women's Slalom Featuring Mikaela Shiffrin Postponed Due to Weather

In Pyeongchang, High Winds Are No Breeze for Athletes

It's the third time in four days an alpine skiing race was shelved because gusts made it too unsafe for competition.

The Olympic women's slalom featuring EagleVail's Mikaela Shiffrin that was scheduled for Tuesday night (Denver time) has been postponed until Thursday night Denver time because of high winds at the alpine venue.

Athletes who have competed in these conditions have made their displeasure known, since the wind can have such measurable effects on both safety and performance.

Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said organizers were not concerned about the schedule. "We have a great gym and space to eat and take plenty of naps, so I'll use this time to recharge". But for all the things that threatened to trip up these Games, including nuclear tensions and a norovirus outbreak, it is wicked winds that are proving the most disruptive.

US Ski and Snowboard spokesman Tom Kelly also was optimistic.

"It is unfortunate that we weren't able to race today, but it is important we have a fair race for all of the athletes", said Shiffrin, who could realistically target at least four medals in Pyeongchang.

At least the decision to postpone the men's downhill, the women's giant slalom and the men's Super-G earlier in the week were taken well in advance.

Shiffrin was supposed to get started with the giant slalom on Monday; that race was rescheduled for Thursday and will now be her first at these Winter Games.

"If the wind continues to blow for then next 15 days it might be a problem but at present everything is okay", IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams said. Another possibility would be to delay the start of the downhill in hopes of calmer conditions and push the slalom back three hours so it would be run under the lights at 6 p.m. local time.

The dominant figure in the technical events on the women's World Cup circuit, in which she heads the overall standings with 10 wins, including five in slalom, the 22-year-old is a strong favorite.

Based on the sport's original 11-event program for South Korea, Shiffrin would have raced on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in Week 1, with full days off to help in the transition from her preferred technical events of slalom and giant slalom to the speed events. "We tried to speak to officials but the Olympics put us under pressure to do it today", the Austrian told reporters.

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