KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia, February 13 (R-Sport) – A heat wave in the mountains above Sochi appeared to have brought about the first change to the Olympic schedule Thursday, with the men’s super combined skiing brought forward.
Athletes across a multitude of snow sports have complained about warm weather turning snow to slush, slowing down Alpine skiers and making falls more likely in freestyle and cross-country events.
The super combined’s opening downhill stage at Rosa Khutor on Friday has been brought forward by an hour to 1000 local time (0600 GMT), when temperatures are likely to be cooler.
“In order to minimize weather influence on the competitions, it was decided to move the start,” the main operational center for the Games said in a statement.
The second component of the super combined, the slalom, remains scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time Friday, organizers said.
Earlier Thursday, organizing committee vice-president Alexandra Kosterina said the warm weather had not yet forced organizers to dip into the approximately half a million cubic meters of snow kept in storage.
The International Olympic Committee is keen to play down the effects of the warm weather, highlighting the contrast to the 2010 Games in Vancouver, when soft snow led to skiing events being postponed.