Athletes are usually the center of attention while spectators hopelessly await their arrival, but the playing fields have changed. Now everyone is watching the arrival of snow, being flown and trucked in from British Columbia. Obviously, Canada has enough of the cold wet stuff to go around, but nobody expected snow, or lack of, to be the star of the show.
What's original about the snow arrival is how it seems to keep arriving in different ways. A fleet of heavy-lift helicopters, dump trucks, and snow-grooming machines arrived yesterday, along with new innovations to keep the snow from melting. After all the work to get the snow there, organizations have to be concerned about its condition.
Tubes that are pumped full of dry ice every 12 hours sit below the moguls and the aerials course to keep things pristine and up to par at Cypress Mountain. The problems aren't only limited to when the actual games begin however. The athlete's training time has also been cut short. "There is no concern and there is no Plan B,” said Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee at a news conference yesterday.
The unseasonable weather makes East-Coast Americans wonder what's going on, especially after the freezing bout in Florida this year. Cypress Mountain had temperatures in the mid-40s on Monday. “What it's going to be is what it's going to be, and everyone is going to have to deal with it,” states CA U.S. skier Shannon Bahrke, a 2002 silver medalist in ladies' moguls. “My lane is about three feet wide and 240 meters long, and that's all I care about. I don't care what is 20 meters to the left or 100 meters to the right. As long as that lane is good from top to bottom, that's all I care about.”