The women’s super-G skiing event in Sochi was an absolute disaster on Saturday. Eighteen of the 49 competitors couldn’t even finish the course, including seven out of the first eight to take off, according to the Associated Press. This is the most in the event’s history, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.
AP sports writer Pat Graham said that the combination of soft snow, due to warm weather in Sochi, and the tight course design is why skiers had such a difficult time finishing the course. According to Graham, one of the most difficult parts of the course was after the last jump where the skiers “could not slow down enough to clear a series of tight gates.”
‘There is no snow at the bottom, it’s not funny anymore. This is a disaster, it was a shame for everybody,” Switzerland’s Lara Gut, who finished in fourth place, told the Associated Press.
Julie Mancuso and Leanne Smith were the only two Americans able to finish the course, they came in 7th and 18th, respectively. Mancuso told the AP that she was nervous before her run after watching so many of the skiers before her struggle.
To avoid the soft snow from warm temperatures that gave the women so much trouble, the men’s super-G on Sunday has been bumped up an hour to 10 a.m. local time, according to Yahoo.
This isn’t the first course athletes have complained about in Sochi. Snowboarder Shaun White dropped out of the slopestyle event calling its course “sketchy,” skier Bode Miller said that Sochi’s dangerous downhill course “can kill you,” and snowboarders called the halfpipe “garbage” and “crappy.”
One of the only successful women in the super-G, silver medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch, said the course didn’t bother her, but agreed “this shouldn’t happen, because it’s dangerous.”
Here’s Hoefl-Riesch on her run:
But most didn’t have as easy a time as the silver medalist. Stacey Cook of the U.S. crashed and did not finish the race:
Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin, seen lying on the course after falling, also did not cross the finish line:
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