Wednesday, February 15, 2006
High winds prompted Oly--mpic officials to postpone the Nordic combined team event after the first round of competition Wednesday afternoon.
"We would have preferred that they just canceled the competition," said Dave Jarrett, U.S. Ski Team coach. "It would have been better for us if they would have restarted the round."
Jarrett said the Americans struggled on the jump hill in the morning, despite a strong showing from Johnny Spillane and a better-than-average performance by Bill Demong. However, Jarrett said Todd Lodwick could have jumped better and that Carl Van Loan had one of his worst showings since arriving in Pragelato.
"When we left, we were hoping to get a mulligan, but things didn't work out that way," Jarrett said. "So we will start again tomorrow and make the best of the situation."
The athletes are scheduled to return to the jump hill at 8 a.m. (midnight MST) today for a trial round. The first official jump will take place at 9 a.m. (1 a.m. MST), and the cross-country race is scheduled for 3 p.m. (7 a.m. MST).
The venue in Pragelato is subject to strong and unpredictable winds. Those winds forced the event to be delayed.
"The guys were pretty upset with the way they jumped in the first round," Jarrett said. "But we will just have to live with it for now."
In the Nordic combined team event, four jumpers from each country compete on the jump hill for a combined score. That score is used to handicap a 20-kilometer cross-country race in the afternoon. Each skier on the team completes a five-kilometer leg in the event.
The United States hopes to medal in the event but is regarded as having only an outside shot at doing so.