FILE UNDER -- Alpine

FIS: Top section of Sestriere Olympic DH course has zero snow

FIS: Top section of Sestriere Olympic DH course has zero snow{mosimage}The International Ski Federation is concerned with the preparation of the Olympic men’s downhill course, saying there is not enough snow cover on the upper part of the course at Sestriere, Italy.
‘The current situation is very critical’ wrote World Cup race directors Helmut Schmalzl and Guenter Hujara in an official FIS report on the situation at Sestriere.
The Olympic men’s downhill takes place on Feb. 11, the day after the Opening Ceremony in Torino. The last World Cup race held on that track was in March of 2004, and Daron Rahlves of the United States was the winner.
‘If you ask me, ‘Can I get to the start,’ I would say no’ said Hujara on Wednesday at Wengen, where he is overseeing the 76th annual Lauberhorn races. ‘It’s not like you have just a little snow. You have nothing.’
Hujara said Schmalzl visited the site over the weekend and placed gates in the dirt. They are also concerned that uncovered rocks near the T-bar carrying athletes to the start constitute a safety hazard.
They would like to see organizers take advantage of low temperatures to make more snow and ferry it to the start, possibly with the help of helicopters.
‘It is not meant to say it’s a scandal, but we were there, 34 days ahead of the Olympics, and it was not ready.’

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