The four-man biathlon relay race scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday has been moved to 2:30 p.m. due to exceptionally cold temperatures at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Stadium.
During the relay biathletes ski three laps and shoot twice, meaning they will spend about 20 to 30 minutes out in the cold on the track — in addition to the time they spend waiting for their turn. They also risk frostbite on their hands, since their trigger fingers are exposed while shooting.
At 11 a.m., the temperature at the stadium was 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit and was expected to drop to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit by 6 p.m. That means the racers would face dangerous conditions.
Those were air temperatures and did not take into consideration the wind, which was blowing at almost 5 mph. The wind chill makes the actual temperature feel closer to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit.