BEIJING ( Associated Press) — The Latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics:
Nico Porteous of New Zealand grabbed the lead after the first run in the men’s ski halfpipe final on a challenging day to throw tricks due to swirling wind.
Porteous scored a 93 thanks to back-to-back double cork 1620s. Two-time defending Olympic champion David Wise sits in second place with a score of 90.75 after the first of three runs. Many of the competitors struggled with wind gusts, including Brendan MacKay of Canada who appeared to be blown off line by the wind.
Top qualifier Aaron Blunck called the gusty conditions “gnarly.” Although listed at 13 mph, the wind appears to be swirling in and through the halfpipe. The wind chill hovered around minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 32 degrees Celsius.)
The last Alpine skiing race of the Beijing Olympics is being delayed because of strong wind.
The start of the team event has been pushed back an hour to 11 am local time on Saturday — which is when it was originally scheduled to begin before a forecast of windy conditions prompted organizers to try to get going at 10 am
Gusts of about 25 mph (40 kph) are kicking up snow near the bottom of the race course known as “Ice River” at the National Alpine Skiing Center in Yanqing zone.
The temperature is zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) and feels like minus 8 Fahrenheit (minus 22 Celsius).
Mikaela Shiffrin is on the roster for the United States, which faces Slovakia in the opening round. Other first-round matchups are Switzerland vs. China, Italy vs. Russia, Norway vs. Poland, France vs. Czech Republic, Germany vs. Sweden, and Slovenia vs. Canada.
Top-ranked Austria received a first-round bye because there are only 15 nations in the 16-spot bracket.
More Associated Press Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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