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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More

Chile Says Drought Permanent, Lays Out Water Plan

President Michelle Bachelet says government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water
More

Poll: Venezuelan Leader's Popularity Inches Up to 25%

Rise comes after United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials
More

High Winds, Drought Feed Chilean Forest Fires

Blazes have ravaged swaths of China Muerta and Nalca Lolco reserves and Conguillio national park, revered for its ancient forests
More