Olympics

Olympic Men’s Downhill Postponed Due to Strong Wind Conditions

The men's downhill has been postponed to Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. ET and the men's super-G will be held Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. ET

Pyeongchang Olympics Alpine Skiing
AP

Strong wind has forced the Pyeongchang Olympic men's downhill to be postponed.

The first race of the 11-event Alpine program was scheduled for Sunday. But three hours before it was supposed to start, race organizers said the downhill would be moved to a different day.

The men's downhill has been postponed to Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. EST and the men's super-G will be held Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. EST

Earlier in the day, forecasters predicted gusts of up to 50 mph (72 kph) for the scheduled 11 a.m. local time (9 p.m. EST) start — strong enough to close the only gondola lift carrying racers and officials up the mountain.

The International Ski Federation also announced in a statement that men's alpine combined downhill training run scheduled for Monday has also been canceled. 

"Following the three training runs – led by Manuel Osborne-Paradis (CAN), Christoph Innerhofer (ITA), and Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – the Olympic downhill course is in excellent condition. When weather and scheduling permits, the men's Olympic downhill is sure to be a spectacular race," the organization said in statement.

Three days of practice runs on the rarely-raced Jeongseon Alpine Centre hill showed three top contenders in good form: world champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland and past Olympic downhill medalists Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud — both from Norway.

Svindal says he's ready while Feuz has had a near-perfect preparation with two wins and a second-place finish in the three World Cup downhill classics last month.

But upsets are always on the cards at the Olympics: five of the past 10 men's downhill champions were without a win in World Cup races, including Matthias Mayer of Austria at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Bryce Bennett, the tallest U.S. Olympian in Pyeongchang at 6 feet 7 inches, was the top American on Wednesday and Thursday's training runs. Team USA's Jared Goldberg finished eighth on Friday, one spot ahead of Bennett.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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