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St. Anton Does Weather Two-step

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St. Anton, Austria, Feb. 5, 2001–Weather continued to play a big role Monday in race plans for the 2001 World Alpine SkiChampionships as St. Anton organizers announced changes in the race lineup for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Organizers, who had to shuffle over the weekend when two feet of wet snow arrived overnight Friday into Saturday, wiping out twodays of downhills and forcing course crews to move more than an estimated 100,000 tons of soft snow, announced the followingplan:

— Monday night: Men’s combined slalom (originally scheduled as a one-day event, the downhill was moved) – Tuesday: 10:30 a.m. CET (4:30 a.m. EST) – Women’s downhill (originally scheduled for Sunday, then moved to Saturday andre-confirmed for Tuesday) – Tuesday: Noon (6 a.m. EST) – Men’s combined downhill (originally scheduled for Monday) – Wednesday: 10:30. a.m. CET (4:30 a.m. EST) – Men’s downhill (originally scheduled for Saturday, then rescheduled for Tuesday,a re-rescheduled for Wednesday morning) – Wednesday 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. CET (11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. EST) – Women’s slalom (as scheduled)

Two feet of heavy, wet snow before dawn Saturday started the scheduling shuffle: organizers called off the men’s DH. A couple ofhours later, they scrubbed the women’s DH, which was set for Sunday. Both races were shifted into the open date on Tuesday,which was designed for just that purpose in the event of weather problems.

However, when it rained through the night, past dawn Sunday, and then changed to wet snow, organizers went intohyper-snow-moving mode and hyper-schedule-changing mode. As expected, the Austrian army turned out several hundredenlisted personnel to shovel snow and help repair the courses.