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Winter Olympics 2018: Strong winds force multiple postponements of skiing events

High winds at Yongpyong Alpine Centre have thrown the skiing events into chaos.

PyeongChang Test Events - Preview Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

We’re only a few days into the 2018 Winter Olympics, but one of the biggest stories early on is bad weather scuttling the skiing events. Due to high winds at Yongpyong Alpine Centre, multiple skiing events had to be postponed or outright cancelled.

The bad news started on Sunday, when the men’s downhill final got moved to Thursday because of windy conditions at Jeongseon Alpine Centre. The men’s Super-G final got moved to Friday as part of the reshuffling. In addition, the women’s freestyle mogul qualifiers got cancelled, with all athletes automatically moving on to the final run the next day.

The weather didn’t let up on Monday, which forced another marquee event to get moved. The women’s giant slalom, featuring gold medal favorite Mikaela Shiffrin, was postponed when high winds yet again created bad conditions.

On Tuesday night (Wednesday in Pyeongchang), the women’s slalom was postponed due to continued high winds making it unsafe to race. The event will now be held Friday (Thursday night in the United States).

The high winds are partly the result of a strong jet stream moving through the Korean peninsula, bringing in cold air from Siberia and plummeting temperatures down into the single digits. This system is also creating strong gusts of up to 35-40 mph on the mountains, which means that the chair lifts carrying athletes to the top are too dangerous to operate. With no chair lifts open, there’s no skiing that day, which makes us all sad.

This post was updated Feb. 13.