PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Fierce winds are taking their toll on the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, leading to postponements of competition and difficult conditions for some events that are continuing as scheduled.
The women's giant slalom was postponed Monday because of strong winds and will now take place Thursday. The men's downhill was moved for the same reason on Sunday to Thursday.
The women's snowboard slopestyle went on as scheduled, but the winds wreaked havoc with only five of the 25 riders able to complete their first of two runs.
"The most important thing is the safety of the athletes," said Sung Baik You, spokesman for the Pyeongchang organizing committee. "We are sure that we'll have all the competition."
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Sung warned that more postponements of ski competitions are possible for the days ahead with 20 mph gusts in the forecast through Wednesday.
International Olympic Committee's chief spokesman Mark Adams said committee officials weren't concerned that the postponements would have an impact on completing all the Games on time.
"We're on day three so I'm hoping that won't happen," Adams said.
Athletes say the wind has been an extraordinary challenge.
Australian snowboarder Tess Coady, 17, said the high winds contributed to her crash during a practice run Sunday which left her with a ruptured ACL ligament in her knee that will end her first Winter Games.
"Well Olympics came to a screeching (halt) today for me. Got picked up in the wind on the bottom jump in practice and my ACL was not a big fan!" Coady wrote on Instagram.
Max Parrot, the Canadian snowboarder who took silver in the slopestyle on Sunday, said the wind varied on each run.
"The wind was sometime a tailwind, so you'd go really far, sometimes front wind and you would knuckle," he said. "You had to look at the flags on every jump. You know coming up to takeoff, you had to have a very great feeling of your speed and knowing where you were landing."
IOC spokesman Adams said the final decision on whether to postpone sits on the shoulders of the individual sports federations.
"(The federations) know their athletes and know the kind of conditions they work in," he said. "I can only assume they take all precautions necessary. The safety of the athletes … is the number one priority for us."