Winds, Wet Snow Postpone Worlds Opener

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February 3, 2007
ARE, Sweden (Feb. 3) - High winds, following soft snowfall, forced a postponement Saturday of the men's super G, which was to kickoff the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) is expected to defend his gold medal from two years ago when the race is rescheduled for Monday.

The winds, which began Friday afternoon and continued gusting through the night - before during and after the storm, which left about six inches of wet, sticky snow, left organizers little chance of getting the races started. The women are scheduled for a super G Sunday.

Unseasonable temperatures near freezing were expected to drop through the weekend, reaching the single digits by Monday, hardening the race course and making better conditions.

"The winds were gale force around 7 or 8 o'clock and there was no chance to race," Head Coach Phil McNichol said, "so it's nice to have a day off. They're few and far between on the World Cup. We're always traveling somewhere or getting up on the hill at dawn...so this is a nice gift...a chance to get caught up on paperwork, grab a little extra sleep...and chill."

He felt Friday night - "barring a total turn-around in the weather" - the race wouldn't be held, McNichol said, "because the snow's quite wet." Speed training Friday was cancelled for men and women because of the soft snow.

The U.S. Ski Team had five men entered - Miller, Steven Nyman (Provo, UT), Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA), T.J. Lanning (Park City, UT) and Ted Ligety (also Park City).

Sunday, four U.S. women will race; Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) - who have each won a super G this season and stand second (Kildow) and fourth (Mancuso) in World Cup SG points, plus Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA).

U.S. fans will be able to follow World Championships coverage live beginning Sunday with the women's super G. NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com will team up for live coverage of every race during the World Championships, which run until Feb. 18 in Are.