Thick fog causes delays at Sochi Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 17, 2014 at 9:16 am •  Published: February 17, 2014
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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Thick fog lingering over the mountains Monday caused the biggest weather disruptions of the Sochi Olympics so far, with a biathlon race and a snowboard event both postponed until Tuesday.

The fog rolled in over the mountains in Krasnaya Polyana on Sunday night and was still shrouding some of the Olympic skiing venues in a cloud-like mist by late Monday afternoon. That prompted organizers to call off the men's biathlon mass-start race and men's snowboardcross almost simultaneously.

The rescheduling didn't seem to be a major concern for the athletes, though.

"This is standard for snowboarding and ski events. Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate," American snowboardcross rider Nate Holland said.

The biathlon race had already been pushed back from Sunday evening to Monday morning, and was then postponed to mid-afternoon before being called off for another day. It will now be held Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., organizers said.

"Well, I am going to sleep again," double Olympic champion Martin Fourcade tweeted in French after the race was postponed. "We'll see each other tomorrow!"

The fog eventually subsided and the women's mass-start race went ahead at its scheduled 7 p.m. start.

At the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the snowboardcross was also first delayed then postponed. Organizers first canceled the seeding runs for the event, then pushed back the elimination races before calling it a day. The elimination races will now start at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, with the seeding runs scrapped.

The Alpine schedule wasn't affected Monday, but the women's giant slalom on Tuesday was pushed forward by 90 minutes to avoid problems. Rain and snow is forecast to begin falling on Tuesday morning and continue through the afternoon. The first run will now begin at 9.30 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m.

Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden, one of the favorites in the GS, said it would have been impossible to have the event on Monday.

"When it's this thick you cannot race," Lindell-Vikarby said. "It has to be more open, for sure."

The ski jumping venue is at a lower altitude and was not shrouded in the thick fog. A training round for Nordic combined athletes was held without disruptions, and the ski jump team event was also expected to go ahead as scheduled on Monday.



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