Opening races at ski worlds postponed due to snowstorm

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Snowcats clear the snow along the Olympia delle Tofane course after a women's alpine combined race was canceled due to heavy snowfall, at the alpine ski World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO – CORTINA D'No fans. And two races postponed.

The women's combined that was slated to open the Alpine skiing world championships on Monday was postponed indefinitely due to heavy snowfall. Then organizers also pushed back the men's super-G from Tuesday to Thursday to allow more time to clear the course.

It’s a rough start for an event that was already deprived of fans due to a nationwide ban on spectators at sports competitions in Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A meter (3 feet) of snow has fallen since Sunday, and more was coming down on Monday afternoon, making it nearly impossible to create a hard and reliable racing surface.

The forecast calls for better weather from Thursday.

“I’m anxiously awaiting Thursday so I can see my mountains and show how beautiful they are,” said Alberto Ghezze, who is in charge of the courses for the organizing committee.

The start of the worlds has been moved to Tuesday with the women’s super-G.

There are separate speed courses for men and women and snow removal began earlier on the women’s course.