Warm weather in Sochi forces Olympic delays

BY Chelsea Coatney  February 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM EDT

Unseasonably warm temperatures in Sochi, Russia, continue to disrupt the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. While no events have yet to be canceled due to weather, practice schedules have been disrupted — men’s freestyle skiing aerials practice was canceled on Thursday in order to give the women’s freestyle skiing team enough time on the slopes before Friday’s competition. Some teams have been forced to wait until after dark, when the snow is hardest, to begin practice.

“The ladies were scheduled to practice this afternoon but in (temperatures of) plus 14 (degrees Celsius) we can’t get the snow to get hard,” Joe Fitzgerald of the International Ski Federation told Reuters.

Schedule adjustments were also planned for Friday, as the downhill portion of the men’s super-combined was pushed up an hour in order to finish the event before Friday’s bright sunshine warmed up the snow.

Friday’s temperatures are predicted to be the highest yet, with none of the Olympic sites expected to get below freezing at any point throughout the day. Olympic officials continue to stress that the weather should be of no concern to athletes. Snow has been being stockpiled under insulated materials for the past year and snow machines are working overtime to cover the Olympic sites.

Friday’s events include men’s super-combined, the men’s figure skating free skate, and women’s skeleton.