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Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympics Debut Blown Off Schedule For NBC, Again

14 February 2018

An Olympic schedule that already looked tough enough just became tougher for Mikaela Shiffrin, whose quest to win five medals has dominated the build-up to the women's events in alpine skiing in Pyeongchang.

The event will now take place on Friday in Korea, which is Thursday night in mountain time.

The winds were still high on Tuesday but organisers opted to go ahead with an adjusted downhill stage, starting lower down the course at the designated super-G start and using the "blue wind line" which effectively eliminates jumps from the race.

On Monday it was howling winds that forced the postponement of the giant slalom, and on Wednesday morning it was a combination of wind, light snow and poor visibility.

Both the Women's Giant Slalom and Men's Downhill are now taking place tomorrow.

Shiffrin, a favorite in the slalom - she won gold in that event in 2014 - is now slated to race that event on Friday.

While many braced for brutal cold at Pyeongchang, South Korea, it's the wind that is so far having a bigger effect on the Winter Olympics. Each of the first two contests were postponed because of risky winds that exceeded 25 miles per hour and the forecast predicts more of the same on today and Wednesday.

Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympics Debut Blown Off Schedule For NBC, Again
Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympics Debut Blown Off Schedule For NBC, Again

He won the combined at the 2015 world championships in Beaver Creek and took the silver medal in last year's world championships.

It is unusual, but hardly unprecedented, for men and women to have races pushed onto the same day at a major competition because of bad weather. Rather than being postponed, that event was run after a delay.

Earlier this week in the women's slopestyle event, several riders were critical that racing was held in adverse conditions, with one Dutch snowboarder insisting the competition was a lottery.

It said the event will start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, with the second run slated for 1:15 p.m. on the same day, reports Yonhap news agency.

Of the weather delays, Paul Kristofic, the women's head alpine coach, said: "Everyone is a little bummed out when a day like this happens, but they do happen, so we're quite used to it".

The Yongpyong resort is owned by the Unification Church, whose adherents are known as Moonies, and has hosted men's technical World Cup races four times since 1998.

"It is unfortunate that we weren't able to race today, but it is important we have a fair race for all of the athletes", said Shiffrin, who could realistically target at least four medals in Pyeongchang.

Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympics Debut Blown Off Schedule For NBC, Again