Frost causes chaos on penultimate day in Beijing

Olympic organizers closed the ski slopes and then shortened the cross-country track by 40%.

They decided to continue with the halfpipe which ended in chaos.

As the Winter Games draw to a close, nature brought strong winds around Beijing on Saturday. Gusts of 65 kilometers per hour led to delays and chaos at several outdoor events. The sensation reached -32 degrees Celsius, to the unhappiness of the athletes on the penultimate day of competition.

Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait another day to find out if she can get a medal at the end of what has been a frustrating few games, after the mixed side event was postponed. The 50-kilometre cross-country skiing competition was shortened to 30 kilometers.

The men’s freestyle skiers got out on time in the halfpipe, but far from planned. Athletes adjusted the difficulty of their tricks and still several suffered terrifying falls.

“I had a lot in store,” said silver medalist Davis Wise of the United States.

Chaos was also present inside. Defending champion Nan Takagi fell early in the semifinals, the second time this has happened to Japanese skater Beijing.

windy winter

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous was happy to clear the halfpipe for gold in freestyle skiing. Bronze medalist Alex Ferreira was happy to just get away.

“I mean, I’m alive,” the American said.

Porteous hit his head on the double-cork 1440 trick on the last try. Before him, he executed two 1620 laps —one to the right and one to the left— and that was enough for a 93 and an advantage that no one surpassed.

“A bit of a stupid decision,” Porteous acknowledged of his latest stunt that led to blood pouring out of his ear. “But it’s the Olympics, you have to leave everything.”

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Achievement in Beijing

Chinese pair Sui Wenjing and Han Cong scooped up the gold that narrowly eluded them four years ago, this time to win the figure skating pairs program by a slim margin in Beijing.

The two world champions, cheered on by a carefully selected Chinese crowd, had a score of 239.88, beating Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov by 63 hundredths of a point.

German rule

Laura Nolte and Mariama Jamanka added to the medal haul for Germany, while USA’s Elana Meyes Taylor extended her medal record with bronze.

Nolte took gold and Jamanka silver, taking Germany to eight golds in nine sliding events. It is the most for any country in the history of the Olympics in this specialty.

they keep skiing

Alexander Bolshunov pushed hard to win his third Olympic gold in the 30-kilometer cross-country that was rescheduled and shortened by wind and cold.

The Russian was part of a group of five athletes who separated in the last kilometer. He escaped on the last climb to the stadium and it took him 1 hour, 11 minutes and 32.7 seconds. His compatriot Ivan Yakimushkin crossed 5.5 seconds behind for silver and Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger was bronze 7 seconds behind.

triple champion

Irene Schouten of the Netherlands took her third gold at the Beijing Olympics as she chased down Canada’s Ivanie Blondin to victory in the women’s mass speed skating event.





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