If you've been watching any of the outdoor events at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, you've undoubtedly noticed that it looks very, very cold there. And considering temperatures have barely snuck past 0 degrees Fahrenheit in recent days, you're certainly not wrong. However, chilly air is hardly a concern for the athletes, who are far more worried about the dangerously high winds in the area, which have already forced officials to postpone a handful of events and reshuffle the schedule.
Still, some competitors are criticizing the decision to go through with certain events, arguing that the conditions are downright dangerous -- not only putting their safety at risk, but also jeopardizing their high stakes performances.
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On Sunday, the men's downhill races were postponed after organizers determined the bitterly cold 40-60mph winds were too much. Similarly, on Monday, the women's giant slalom was postponed for much the same reason. Now, both events are scheduled to be held on Thursday.
However, save for a brief 75-minute delay on Monday, the women's slopestyle final competition went on as planned (despite the qualifying round the day before being scrapped due to concern over conditions). And while winds were slightly less strong than they were at the skiing events, they were still a huge worry for the riders, many of whom were angry that the officials were forcing the competition to go on, citing serious safety concerns.
The wind proved a major problem for the world-class riders, considering 20 of the 25 athletes ended up falling during the opening run. Evidently the anger among them was palpable.
Of course, high winds at higher altitudes are a huge part of Olympic downhill skiing and snowboard competitions, and rough conditions have posed a safety issue and forced event postponements in past Winter Games. In fact, downhill event was held just five minutes before the Closing Ceremony in Nagano due to rescheduling issues, according to Reuters.
The forecast around PyeongChang looks better (and warmer) for the remainder of the week, though, so officials are hopeful the schedule of events won't encounter too many more disruptions.
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