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Olympics Live: Wind delays last Alpine skiing race

The Beijing Olympics' last Alpine skiing race is being delayed by wind gusts up to 40 mph (65 km/h).

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Olympics Live: Wind delays last Alpine skiing race

The team event was delayed twice on Saturday, totalling two hours. It will now not start before noon local time.

The red and blue gate flags whip in the wind on the course called "Ice River" at Yanqing's National Alpine Skiing Center.

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After the first run of the men's halfpipe final, Nico Porteous from New Zealand took the lead. It was a difficult day to throw tricks because of the swirling wind.

Porteous achieved a score of 93 due to his back-to-back double-cork 1620s. David Wise, the Olympic champion twice-defending, is in second place after scoring 90.75 on his first three runs. Many competitors were affected by wind gusts. Brendan MacKay, Canada, appeared to have been blown off his line by the wind.

Aaron Blunck, top qualifier, called the gusty conditions "gnarly." The wind speed is listed at 13 mph but it appears that the wind is swirling through the halfpipe. The wind chill was around minus 26° Fahrenheit (minus 32° Celsius).

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Strong winds are causing the Beijing Olympics' last Alpine skiing race to be postponed.

The team event's start time has been moved an hour back to Saturday at 11 a.m. (local time). This is the original time it was to start before a forecast for windy conditions prompted organizers to attempt to get started at 10 a.m.

Near the bottom of the race course, known as "Ice River", at the National Alpine Skiing Center (Yanyang zone), gusts of approximately 25 mph (40 km/h) are creating snow.

The temperature is zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) and feels like minus 8 Fahrenheit (minus 22 Celsius).

Mikaela Shafferin is listed on the roster for USA, which will face Slovakia in the first round. The other matchups in the first round are Switzerland vs. China and Italy vs. Russia. Norway vs. Poland. France vs. Czech Republic. Germany vs. Sweden. Slovenia vs. Canada.

Austria, which is ranked top in the world, received a bye in the first round because there are only 15 countries within the 16-spot bracket.


 

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