For some athletes, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are well underway. For others, however, Mother Nature has different plans.
All the athletes competing in this year’s winter games have arrived in South Korea, and each and every one of them has faced the brutal cold that the country is now experiencing. According to CNN, temperatures in the city are hovering around 12 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill, it feels more like -14˚F. And that cold, windy weather means that some Olympic events have had to be canceled or postponed to ensure athletes’ safety.
As CNN reported, several competitions, including the women’s giant slalom, have been pushed back because the weather could become dangerous. As reporter Christina Macfarlane noted, the weather could become “a real problem for the organizers because this is forecast to last for at least the next four days.”
Now, the women’s giant slalom is slated to take place on Thursday, along with the men’s downhill race, which was delayed on Sunday, according to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team.
On Monday, one event did go off, the women’s slopestyle competition. Though the wind greatly affected the competition there too. Reporter Mark Staniforth tweeted, “At the snowboard slopestyle, where six of the first seven have crashed, and one didn’t even attempt a jump. Strong winds playing havoc.”
At the snowboard slopestyle, where six of the first seven have crashed, and one didn’t even attempt a jump. Strong winds playing havoc.
— Mark Staniforth (@markstani1) February 12, 2018
Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands put it bluntly, when she told Sports Illustrated, “It’s a s—show,” about the event. Czech Republic’s Sarka Panocochova additionally told the Denver Post the weather was, “So terrible. They shouldn’t have run it.”
Canada’s Spencer O’Brien on slopestyle conditions: “It’s such a shame when organizers don’t take rider safety or our opinions into consideration. We were not asked once if it was safe to ride today. That’s something with our sport that needs to change.”
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) February 12, 2018
However, despite athletes not performing their best, The International Ski Federation said in a statement that it would “never stage a competition” if it were deemed unsafe for athletes.
On Sunday, Australian snowboarder Tess Coady revealed that the weather got the best of her during a practice run, writing on Instagram,”Well Olympics came to a screeching [halt] today for me… got picked up in the wind on the bottom jump in practice and my acl was not a big fan! Thanks for all the lovin everyone…brb.”
A post shared by Tess Coady (@tess_coady) on Feb 11, 2018 at 1:38am PST
Though other athletes competing in different outdoor events seem okay with the brisk weather. American snowboarder Chloe Kim told reporters the conditions were “amazing” while Australian snowboarder Emily Arthur said, “This is the best pipe I’ve ever ridden.”