Powerful winds delay more Olympic skiing events and force park's closure

Thomas Dressen

The start of Mikaela Shiffrin's bid for multiple medals at the 2018 Olympics was delayed yet again when the women's slalom was postponed from Wednesday to Friday because of strong winds.

Both the women's and men's alpine skiing events were postponed earlier this week as wind gusts reached 45 miles per hour, making it unsafe for the athletes to compete.

It's the second time in these Olympics that the event was postponed because of weather.

Shiffrin was supposed to get started with the giant slalom on Monday; that race was rescheduled for Thursday and will now be her first at these Winter Games. North Korea's Kim Ryon-hyang was also set to make her debut.

The postponement of the women's slalom, which will now take place on Friday, meant three of the four Alpine events scheduled so far have not taken place on their original date.

Saturday night's men's downhill race and the women's giant slalom were both also moved.

The 22-year-old American is expected to be one of the superstars of the next two weeks, considered a medal favorite in slalom and giant slalom, a strong contender in the combined and a possible entrant in the other two women's individual races, the downhill and super-G.

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"It was a long and hard day today", said the former Norwegian racer, twice a super-G world champion.

Should she secure gold, she would become the first Alpine skier to successfully defend an Olympic slalom title, following her success in Sochi.

"It's a bummer that we're not able to race today", Shiffrin said.

The slalom runs take place Tuesday evening in the US, and in the early hours of the morning in the United Kingdom and Europe on Wednesday-with the start scheduled for 10:15 a.m. local time.

Friday is predicted to be even colder (-16C), with the start of the slalom due to kick off with winds of 25km/h, according to the Korea Metrological Administration.

- "Roll with punches" -Paul Kristofic, head coach of the USA women's team, said it was just a question of rolling with the punches. Three straight days of racing - and the pomp and circumstance that come with it - would be followed by three downhill training sessions, and then the downhill race on Wednesday, Feb. 20. And the second thing is: Have a good, fair race.

"Neither of those were achievable today".

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