Top Stories World 

Winter Olympics 2018: Park evacuated and events delayed as high winds spark chaos

Winds of up to 15mph have been forecast as temperatures plummet to -20C making the Winter Olympic Games one of the coldest on record.

The Pyeongchang Olympic Committee released a statement saying: “Due to high winds in the Gangneung area, all activities in the common domain of the Gangneung Olympic Park have temporarily been suspended to ensure the safety of all personnel.

“Spectators are being encouraged to stay indoors and general admission to the park has been suspended for the remainder of the day.”

The strong winds hit the Alpensia Biathlon Centre and on Wednesday the women’s biathlon, women’s slalom, men’s downhill and women’s giant slalom, joined the list of postponed events.

With winds of over 15mph forecast, it would have been difficult for biathlon competitors to shoot their rifles accurately.

The women’s slalom, which had already been pushed back to Wednesday, will now take place on Friday.

There will be two-legs either side of the men’s super-G event, as organisers look to cram everything in.

US head coach for the women’s Alpine, Paul Kristofic, said: “The No. 1 thing is safety, and the next thing is to have a good fair race and neither of those were really achievable today.”

Other events were pushed back until later on Wednesday as the backlog of events builds up amid the treacherous conditions. 

The events that did go ahead despite the weather were hugely affected. The women’s slopestyle on Monday saw six of the first seven riders fall, with all of them falling on at least one of their runs.

Bronze medallist Enni Rukajarvi said: “It was pretty bad. I’m happy to land my run and get a good score but I’m most happy that no one got hurt bad.”

Britain’s Aimee Fuller had a heavy crash on her second run and finished 17th.

The International Olympic Committee still believe there is “plenty” of time left for competition.

Only 11 of the 17 days the Winter Olympics will run for are scheduled for skiing in case of situations such as this, where events need to be postponed.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: “If the wind continues to blow for the next 15 days then I guess it might be a problem.

“The International Ski Federation is well used to disruption by wind, by too much snow, by too little snow, by too much rain… At the moment we’re pretty happy.”

Related posts

Leave a Comment