The Day 10 schedule of Sochi Winter Olympics events has been badly affected by the adverse conditions, with a bout of fog leading to the cancellation of several events.
As is confirmed by both NBC and CBC, the men's snowboard cross qualifying and men's 15-kilometer mass start biathlon were both scrapped from Monday's slate due to the weather:
Officials have announced that men's snowboard cross has been postponed until tomorrow because of this: pic.twitter.com/PfbeVRs4OP— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 17, 2014
BREAKING: Men’s 15km mass start biathlon also cancelled for today, set for tomorrow. Scheduling info to come. #CBCOlympics— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) February 17, 2014
It's been confirmed that both events have been rescheduled for Tuesday. NBC photojournalist Skyler Wilder reports that snowboard cross' new start time will be 10:30 a.m. local time, while Jeff Metcalfe of AZCentral Sports says the biathlon will start at 2:30 p.m. local time:
Men's biathlon mass start now scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday local time at Laura Center #SochiSMG— jeffmetcalfe (@jeffmetcalfe) February 17, 2014
Monday's schedule has been affected by the unforeseen fog, with an updated schedule detailed below:
|12 a.m.||Women's Curling||South Korea vs. USA||NBCSN*||No|
|12 a.m.||Women's Curling||Russia vs. Great Britain||-||No|
|12 a.m.||Women's Curling||Japan vs. China||-||No|
|Update: Tuesday Feb 18 - 5:30 a.m.||Men's Biathlon||15-Kilometer Mass Start||NBCSN*||Yes|
|Cancelled||Men's Snowboard Cross||Seeding Event||-||No|
|Update: Tuesday Feb. 18 - 1:30 a.m.||Men's Snowboard Cross||1/8 Finals||-||No|
|Update: Tuesday Feb. 18 - 1:52 a.m.||Men's Snowboard Cross||Quarterfinals||-||No|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||Germany vs. Russia||-||No|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||Switzerland vs. USA||USA||No|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||Norway vs. Denmark||-||No|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||China vs. Great Britain||-||No|
|Update: Tuesday Feb. 18 - 2:04 a.m.||Men's Snowboard Cross||Semifinals||NBC*||No|
|Update: Tuesday Feb. 18 - 2:12 a.m.||Men's Snowboard Cross||Finals||NBC*||Yes|
|7:30 a.m.||Women's Ice Hockey||USA vs. Sweden||NBCSN||No|
|8:45 a.m.||Freestyle Skiing||Men's Aerials Qualifications 1||-||No|
|9:30 a.m.||Freestyle Skiing||Men's Aerials Qualifications 2||-||No|
|9:30 a.m.||Bobsleigh||Two-Man Heat 3||-||No|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||China vs. Switzerland||-||No|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||Denmark vs. Great Britain||-||No|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||Sweden vs. Japan||-||No|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||Canada vs. South Korea||-||No|
|10 a.m.||Figure Skating||Ice Dance Free Dance||NBCSN||Yes|
|10 a.m.||Women's Biathlon||12.5-Kilometer Mass Start||-||Yes|
|11:05 a.m.||Bobsleigh||Two-Man Heat 4||-||Yes|
|12 p.m.||Women's Ice Hockey||Canada vs. Switzerland||NBCSN||No|
|12:15 p.m.||Men's Ski Jumping||Team First Round||-||No|
|12:30 p.m.||Freestyle Skiing||Men's Aerial Final 1||-||No|
|12:55 p.m.||Freestyle Skiing||Men's Aerial Final 2||-||No|
|1:12 p.m.||Freestyle Skiing||Men's Aerial Final 3||NBCSN*||Yes|
|1:22 p.m.||Men's Ski Jumping||Team Final Round||NBCSN*||Yes|
sochi2014.com/nbcolympics.com (*Tape delay)
The main site of the issue is the Krasnaya Polyana mountain range, which had enjoyed a few days of warm weather in the buildup to Monday's thicker conditions. It's especially disappointing for the biathlon event, which had already been pushed back from its original start time on Sunday evening.
The snowboard cross event is scheduled to take place in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, but Monday's cancellation means a dramatic shift in matters for some underdogs. The cancellation of the seeding stage moves us right into the elimination round, using the world rankings as a seeding platform.
The weather and climate were always bound to play their part in Sochi, but these fluctuations in temperature may be even more severe than what event organisers were expecting to see.
Mattias Karen of The Associated Press (via Yahoo) provided a statement from International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams:
In terms of what's going on there, I think it's actually quite ironic that the biggest issue we've had so far is due to winter fog. Winter sports is very unpredictable. It's a very dynamic field of play. At present, the conditions are good and we are continuing. We haven't had any major complaints up there.
For now, indoor events, such as Monday's men's and women's curling, are the only events completely safe from weather interruption. Men's freestyle skiing, one of the events scheduled to take place later on Monday, hasn't yet been affected by the fog.
As Rachel Nichols of CNN points out, the setting is far from ideal right now, especially for those supposed to be shooting:
Mental preparation for an event as big as this can play a huge role in precisely how an athlete reacts to performing on the world's biggest stages. Those now taking part on Tuesday instead can only hope that their chances aren't affected by the last-minute change in plans.