Olympic organizers delay training at Cypress as they move and store snow

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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VANCOUVER - Olympic organizers are delaying more training sessions on Cypress Mountain as they continue to move and store snow in advance of the Vancouver Games.
Training on the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course has now been pushed back by two days.
But organizers said Sunday they will still give athletes 11 days on the mountain, including the one official run down the course that international rules require.
Parallel giant slalom doesn't begin until Feb. 26.
Snowboarders have already had their time on the halfpipe scaled back from five to three days.
While that's still more time than they'd get on the World Cup circuit, there are concerns that a tighter training schedule will make the mountain quite busy.
"At this point I think the athletes are probably taking this in stride, it's not unexpected," said Cathy Priestner Allinger, executive vice-president of sport and Games operations for the organizing committee and also a former Olympic athlete.
"We know that they are very confident that we are going to deliver these venues at an Olympic level."
Training on the moguls course on Cypress will begin as scheduled on Monday, though media aren't being granted access.
"This is to ensure the safety of everything that's up there," said Time Gayda, vice-president of sport for the committee.
"But more importantly it allows us to focus on getting the field of play as best we can for the athlete's first day of training."
Organizers say despite the weather challenges, the courses on Cypress are almost complete.
They say they continue to truck and fly in snow in order to finish elements around the fields of play.
Competition at Cypress is scheduled to begin Feb. 13 with women's moguls.
Cypress, which is just north of Vancouver, has suffered from the warmest January on record forcing organizers into an extensive contingency plan that also involves trucking snow from as far as three hours away.
Gayda said overall, the remaining venues for the Games are more than ready for the thousands of athletes now arriving in Vancouver.
"The way I like to think of it is we're building this kitchen and we have the right chef who can build the course, we have the right ingredients and we make this fantastic meal for the athletes," he said.
"The only challenge on the outdoor side: it's really kind of an open barbecue and then whatever the weather throws at us is kind of controlling the gas."

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, Cypress Mountain

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