Men's snowboard cross abandoned for day due to thick fog
After the Sunday best from the women, came the Monday blues for the men.
All hopes of more thrills and spills from the male riders on the snowboard cross course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Monday were abandoned in the early afternoon because of thick fog.
With visibility reduced to under 20 metres, there was little prospect of riders being able to safely navigate the 1,200m-long course.
As a result, the men's snowboard cross competition of the XXII Olympic Winter Games had to be rescheduled for 10:30 AM local time on Tuesday (7:30 AM CET) with a shortened format.
The seeding runs had to be cancelled and the competition will now begin with the 1/8 final with athletes seeded according to their FIS points. (Click here for the official bracket)
Hans Riesch, Assistant Coach of the German Team explained: “It would have been dangerous to ride because you couldn't see anything - it was a pure safety issue and it was the right call to postpone it.”
Organisers at Rosa Khutor went to extreme lengths to ready the course, even turning on the snow gun fans in an apparent attempt to blow away the fog. But in the end, all the effort didn't pay off.
Being forced to play the waiting game over the whole day athletes tried to relax, stay focused and cope with the situation the best possible way.
“All of us riders were prepared for whatever the outcome may be. Obviously, we know the weather can be terrible like this in Sochi so we all came here with expectations that it can be like this. As far as them cancelling the event, it's the decision and were just going to prepare for tomorrow and bring our A game,” summed up Christopher Robanske, one of Team Canada's medal hopes.
“We’ll be back tomorrow and we’ll let it roll from there. Time to drop the hammer and the sickle on this course,” added Nate Holland (USA), who is one of the top aspirants for a medal at his third Olympics before saying:
“I don't think it's difficult at all. I live for days like this. This is standard for snowboarding and ski events, I think. Mother Nature doesn’t always co-operate.”
2013 World Championships Silver medalist Markus Schairer (AUT) stated: “There's a motto 'tomorrow's a great day to win the Olympics', so I'm going to go with the expression and try that. Tomorrow's another day.”