OLYMPICS ROUNDUP Day 5 updates

skiing

Women’s slalom postponed

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea

The start of Mikaela Shiffrin’s bid for multiple medals at the 2018 Olympics was delayed yet again when the women’s slalom was postponed from today to Friday because of strong winds.

It’s the third time in four days an Alpine skiing race was shelved because gusts made it too dangerous for competition. That complicates matters for someone such as Shiffrin, who could try to enter up to five individual events but now has less time to rest and prepare between them.

Based on the sport’s original 11-event program for South Korea, Shiffrin would have raced on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in Week 1, with full days off to help in the transition from her preferred technical events of slalom and giant slalom to the speed events. As of now, she would have zero days in between, racing three days in a row from Thursday through Saturday.

“Well, it compresses the schedule, so it makes for a more hectic five, six days as we approach into the speed events,” U.S. women’s head coach Paul Kristofic said. “So that’s something we’re considering as we move forward. It’s a consideration, absolutely.”

Shiffrin was supposed to get started with the giant slalom on Monday; that race was rescheduled for Thursday and will now be her first at these Winter Games. Under the current plan, next would come the slalom, a race she won at the 2014 Olympics at age 18, followed by the first women’s speed race, the super-G, on Saturday.

figure skating

Vocals increase emotions on ice

GANGNEUNG, South Korea

When the International Skating Union made the popular decision to allow lyrics in all performances, the Paul Simon classic “The Sound of Silence” seemed like it would be a natural choice.

The folk tune is light and airy and fits neatly within the confines of traditional figure skating.

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres went in another direction.

Yes, the French pairs team chose the 1960s hit for their free skate last year, and will bring it back for their Olympic program Thursday. But rather than the melodic version performed by Simon and Art Garfunkel, they opted for a haunting, heavy metal cover by American rock band Disturbed .

“It was our coaches who found it,” James told The Associated Press. “They were like, ‘We really think it could be a hit.’ And Morgan listened to it and was like, ‘I don’t like it,’ because we weren’t used to it. And I was like, ‘OK, let me see if I can get into this.’ I thought it could be amazing, and I was like, ‘Morgan, let’s trust them.’ And we were so right to have trusted them.”

That’s because the stirring rendition, coupled with the pair’s dramatic program, became such a fan favorite that they replaced this season’s program with it for the Pyeongchang Games.

“When you have a powerful voice and words to express,” James said, “it changes everything.”

speed skating

Dutch continue gold-medal streak

GANGNEUNG, South Korea

The Olympic Oval has turned into the royal House of Orange — and not because Dutch King Willem-Alexander is there most nights. It’s all about the speedskating.

Kjeld Nuis made it four gold medals in four races for the Netherlands, a run nearly beyond belief.

“This is no longer normal,” Nuis said Tuesday after winning the 1,500 meters.

Moving in a blur of orange early on with a blistering pace, Nuis swept past his toughest opponents to take home gold. In second, of course, was another Dutchman — teammate Patrick Roest.

The Dutch have won eight of 12 medals at the Pyeongchang Games.

Associated Press

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