The last of three Alpine skiing men’s downhill training sessions was cancelled Saturday after high winds disrupted action at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center.
Race officials pulled the plug on the morning session after Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, the third skier on the course, completed his run. Kilde and the two skiers that preceded him, Austria’s Matthias Mayer and Italy’s Christof Innerhofer, could all be heard discussing the windy conditions at the finishing area upon completing their runs.
“Due to the present weather situation with high winds and no window in the forecast for decreasing winds, in the best interest of safety, the jury together with the organizer have decided to cancel today's Men's Downhill 3rd Training,” the race officials’ announcement read.
Despite its arid climate which draws only a handful of inches of precipitation per year, the hilly Yanqing District regularly sees gusting wind speeds well into the low double-digits miles per hour. Such conditions can make high-speed ski racing difficult or next-to-impossible.
Saturday's session was the second training session in as many days to be affected by the weather. Friday's session was delayed by an hour, though the session was able to be completed with all 55 participating skiers able to attempt a run. Athletes, organizers and fans alike will hope the wind does not become a constant factor in affecting the Alpine skiing program once the medal events begin at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The men’s downhill competition – the first of 11 Alpine skiing medal events at the Winter Games – gets underway at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday night, airing as part of NBC’s Primetime Coverage. The event will also be available to stream on NBCOlympics.com and Peacock. Click here for full broadcast and streaming info of Alpine skiing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.