PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The women’s slalom became the third Alpine ski race to be postponed at the Olympics.
After twice pushing back the start time for the first run of the slalom at Yongpyong Alpine Centre, officials decided to postpone Wednesday’s race to Friday, meaning American star Mikaela Shiffrin must wait another day to begin her Olympics.
The women’s giant slalom, originally scheduled for Monday, is scheduled for Thursday, as is the men’s downhill, which was originally scheduled for Sunday. Both were postponed because of wind.
The postponements will compress the schedule for Alpine skiing, which has 10 events remaining, into just 10 days. Only the men’s Alpine combined, which was held Tuesday at Jeongseon Alpine Centre, has been completed.
Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said organizers were not concerned about the schedule.
“Plenty [of time left]. At present everything is OK and as we have said before, the ski federation is well used to disruption by wind, by too much snow, by too little snow, by rain, by all sorts of things,” Adams said.
US Ski and Snowboard spokesman Tom Kelly also was optimistic.
“Things are compacted now but we still have sufficient days and the ability to use both venues on the same day. So hoping for the best. Next few days will be important,” he said.
A large crowd had gathered well ahead of the original start time for Wednesday’s race, and American fans were out in force to see Shiffrin, one of four US starters in the field of 83.
Now Friday will also be a double-competition day, with Shiffrin attempting to defend her 2014 gold medal in the slalom, which will be held at the Yongpyong that hosts technical races, while the men compete in the super-G at the Jeongseon speed hill about 30 miles away.
That super-G was originally scheduled for Thursday but was pushed to Friday once the men’s downhill was moved.
Snow was falling and wind blowing this way and that at Yongpyong on Wednesday.
Already facing a bit of a time crunch because of all of the weather delays, organizers kept pushing back the first run of the two-run women’s slalom until eventually deciding to call it off about an hour after the original start time.
The slalom is a race Shiffrin has dominated for five years, including her Olympic gold as a teenager and three consecutive world titles.
Whenever she does get to head down the hill through the gates, the 22-year-old American will be attempting to become the first athlete to win the slalom at two Winter Games in a row.
Among the women who could challenge Shiffrin in the technical races are Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, who claimed silver in the slalom and gold in the Alpine combined event at last year’s world championships; Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, owner of three world championship medals in the slalom; and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who has won two World Cup slaloms this season.Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.