- Windy conditions at Pyeongchang have proven to be a challenge in the Winter Olympics.
- Men’s downhill skiing on Saturday and women’s giant slalom on Sunday were postponed because of high gusts.
- The wind also delayed the finish of the men’s ski jumping.
- Biathletes have also said the wind has made the shooting portion of the event difficult, with only three of 86 women hitting all 10 targets in a race on Saturday.
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.
On Saturday, the men’s downhill skiing was postponed because of windy conditions. With gusts up to 50 miles per hour, the gondolas could not safely bring skiers up the mountain, according to The Guardian.
On Sunday, the women’s giant slalom was also postponed because of high gusts.
Men’s downhill skiing was rescheduled for Wednesday, while women’s giant slalom has been rescheduled for Thursday. While there are reserved days and backup schedules, further postponements could pose a risk for the Olympic schedule.
The postponement came after windy conditions made the men’s ski jump final run long, with the event hitting midnight in Pyeongchang before it had finished. Germany’s Andreas Wellinger eventually took gold.
The wind has also had an effect on the biathlon. Cold, windy conditions make the cross-country skiing difficult enough, but it has most affected the shooting portion of the event. According to The Associated Press, unlike other events, the biathlon doesn’t have any mechanisms to dull the wind.
On Saturday, in the women’s 7.5km sprint, only three of the 86 participants hit all ten targets in the shooting portion of the event.
That eight of the 11 races come at night doesn’t help either, as the athletes have to rely on artificial lighting instead of natural light.
“There was a lot of wind and the cold temperature, certainly not the easiest conditions,” Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier said after winning gold. “I had to stay focused and do the right things.”
Emily Dreissigacker of the US said she could feel the wind pushing the barrel of her rifle while shooting.
The wind is surely something every Olympian prepared for, but thus far, it’s proving to be a challenge even for the best athletes in the world.