News / Americas

Warm Weather Wrecks Havoc on Olympic Schedule

A snowless and sunny Vancouver skyline.
A snowless and sunny Vancouver skyline.

Multimedia

Audio
David Byrd

The warm weather has played havoc with the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada.  Warm temperatures caused by the "El Nino" weather phenomenon have left Vancouver area devoid of snow, and Whistler slushy and sloppy as athletes wait to compete.

The men's downhill ski event - considered the premier Alpine event at any Olympics - had to be postponed for two days because rain soaked the course in Whistler.  Olympic rules require at least one practice run.  And rain on the course made training impossible.  In addition, the women's super-combined event had to be postponed because of the wet conditions.

The Cypress Mountain venue - where freestyle skiing, snowboarding and moguls events are scheduled - had no natural snow.  Canadian organizers are bringing in snow by the truckload to prepare the course for competition.  Off days are built into the Olympic schedule.  But practice on the courses has been impossible because of rain and warm temperatures.

But the warm and wet conditions have not dampened the spirits of Canadian Olympic torch relay runner Gerald Arksey.  Dressed in his white relay uniform and carrying the now extinguished Olympic torch he carried in Squamish, Canada, Arksey says the warm weather is not unusual. "The weather is fairly normal.  You know, it varies year to year.  But it is not unusual to have weather this warm.  I think everybody's going to carry on," he said.

Canadian fan Ken Kresdee is wearing a huge wizard's pointed hat covered with Canadian flags in downtown Vancouver.  He says that temperatures have deviated only a few degrees from what the area has normally. "If you are on the eastern side of this continent, you are used to getting winter weather.  Here, this is pretty much our winter, except that it is probably three or four degrees warmer than normal.  It should be four or five, six degrees Celsius right now.  And we should have more snow.  So the El Nino effect has had an effect," he said.

This is not the first Winter Games to suffer poor conditions.  The 1998 Olympics were hit by rain, fog and snowstorms - even an earthquake - that affected the competition schedule in Nagano.

Despite El Nino, fans like Kresdee and Arksey say Canadian spirits are high.  And both men predicted that Vancouver will host a successful Winter Games.  

But the weather might not cooperate.  Forecasters are calling for the warm temperatures to continue with downtown readings expected at about 10 degrees for the next several days.  In Whistler, the forecast calls for temperatures between four and eight degrees, with only a few snow showers for the next 10 days.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexican Court Frees Ex-US Marine Jailed on Gun Charges

Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi had been behind bars since March for bringing guns into the country
More

Mexico Police Investigate Police Link in Shooting Deaths of US Siblings

Deaths of Erica Alvarado Rivera, her brothers and boyfriend as they traveled to visit family is third high-profile case in recent months that links security forces to extrajudicial killings
More

Lawmaker Blasts US Participation in Cuba Ebola Meeting

Mario Diaz-Balart said ALBA, which chaired the meeting, 'was created solely to oppose US interests' and US participation was 'ludicrous'
More

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More