Alpine skiing mixed team event postponed due to heavy winds

(Imagn)

Wind gusts up to 25 mph returned to the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center Saturday, forcing the postponement of the mixed team parallel slalom competition. It was rescheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday in Beijing (8 p.m. Saturday night in the Eastern U.S.).

Mikaela Shiffrin, still in search of her first medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics, is scheduled to compete as part of the United States team and will become just the second woman ever to compete in six Alpine skiing events at the Winter Olympics. That is, if the competition in fact takes place. 

Sunday is the final day of the 2022 Winter Olympics, with the Closing Ceremony due to take place Sunday evening in Beijing. If heavy winds again interfere with the mixed team event, it's possible the event would not take place at all. The forecast as of midnight ET Saturday calls for gusts about half as strong as those seen during the event's originally scheduled start time.

The mixed team event is the second Alpine skiing event of the 2022 Winter Olympics to be postponed to the following day. The first event of the Games, the men's downhill, was also pushed one day later due to unsafe wind conditions.

LIVE UPDATES

(10:35 p.m. ET) - Competition rescheduled for Saturday evening

Race officials announced that the mixed team event has been rescheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. High winds remain in the forecast, but they'll set up to try again and hope for calmer conditions.

 

(10:35 p.m. ET) - Mixed team event postponed

With no sign of the high winds letting up, the decision was made not to run the mixed team parallel slalom event tonight. Officials will meet imminently to discuss the possibility of trying again tomorrow, the final day of the 2022 Winter Olympics. However, high winds are also in tomorrow's forecast.

View social media post: https://twitter.com/nzaccardi/status/1494877880161087494

(9:40 p.m. ET) - Delay extended to 11 p.m. ET

More high winds on course, without sign of letting up as of yet. Race officials have announced an additional one-hour delay to the mixed team event. The next decision will come at 10:30 p.m. ET for a 11 p.m. start.

View social media post: https://twitter.com/ToddLewisGC/status/1494863839048859653

 

(8:30 p.m. ET) - Start time delayed one hour

High winds have returned to the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center, forcing the race officials to delay the mixed team event start time to 10 p.m. ET at the earliest. A decision will be made at 9:30 p.m. ET on whether a further delay is necessary. Winds are currently gusting up to 25 mph with temperatures below zero.

View social media post: https://twitter.com/usskiteam/status/1494847710691741700

(7:57 p.m. ET) - Mixed team event bracket:

The Untied States faces Slovakia in the first round, while top seed Austria gets a BYE into the quarterfinals.

View social media post: https://twitter.com/NBCOlympics/status/1494838240364445704?s=20&t=iXK8UIbjSd_UV8TGvTR2qQ

How does the Alpine skiing mixed team event work?

Included for the second time ever at the Winter Olympics, the mixed team parallel slalom event pits teams of four – two men and two women per team – against each other in a series of side-by-side slalom races. Each team member races a member of the opposite team (of the same gender) down identical slalom courses. The athlete that gets to the finish first wins a point for his/her team, and the team with the most points after all four races advances to the next round. In the event of a 2-2 tie, the team with the lowest combined time advances.

The competition begins with the Round of 16 and follows a single-elimination format until there are four semifinalists. The two semifinal winners then race for the gold medal, while the semifinal losers match up for bronze.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS

Though teams only use four skiers per round, each team is allowed six total athletes and may rotate who participates in each round.

The mixed team competition, like all 10 individual Alpine skiing events, will take place at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center. However, it will not take place on either of the two courses that have hosted events previously. Instead, a third, wider piste will host the competition.

The Americans

In the event’s Olympic debut four years ago, the United States suffered a frustrating first-round defeat to Great Britain via a tiebreaker. However, that U.S. team did not have Mikaela Shiffrin.

The big question for the U.S. this time around is what version of Shiffrin will it get? The 26-year-old is the most accomplished slalom skier of all-time and, under normal circumstances, would be all but a guaranteed point for the U.S. every time she races. However, the circumstances at these Games have been anything but normal for Shiffrin. In three technical races in Beijing (giant slalom, slalom and the slalom half of the combined event), she has failed to finish all of them.

Regardless of how she and the U.S. fair, Shiffrin will make history simply by taking part. She will become just the second woman to compete in all six events Alpine skiing events at the Winter Games. Coincidently, the first, 2022 slalom gold medalist Petra Vlhova, will not be available for Slovakia, who the U.S. faces in the first round.

Shiffrin will be joined on the U.S. team by Paula Moltzan, AJ Hurt, Tommy Ford, River Radamus and Luke Winters.

The Favorites

The 2018 event came down to a matchup between the Alpine skiing giants Austria and Switzerland. Those nations are seeded No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, this time around and are the overwhelming favorites to meet in the final. But between them, it’s the Swiss who are clear favorites. Apart from having already set a Winter Games record with five individual gold medals in Beijing, the Swiss had six athlete finish in top-10 position in either the men’s or women’s slalom. Austria, meanwhile, had two.

Norway, with the bronze medalist (Sebastian Foss-Solevaag) and fourth-place finisher (Henrik Kristoffersen) in the men’s slalom, will have sights set on an upset.

What time does the mixed team event start?

After a postponement of one day from its originally scheduled start date, the mixed team parallel slalom event is now scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET Saturday night.

How to watch the mixed team event on TV

TBD

How to stream the mixed team event on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app

Users with cable or satellite subscriptions can authenticate via TV Everywhere to stream every Alpine skiing event in the NBC Sports app or on NBCOlympics.com. A simulcast of NBC Primetime and USA Network coverage is available, as well as a World Feed stream with OBS-provided commentary.

NetworkStart timeStream Link
TBD8 p.m. ETTBD
World Feed8 p.m. ETHERE

How to stream the women's combined on Peacock

For the first time, users can stream every event of the 2022 Winter Olympics LIVE on Peacock. World Feed coverage of the mixed team event begins at 8 p.m. ET. Sign up HERE.