Pyeongchang 2018: Cancellations and dangerous women’s slopestyle final cast doubts on Korean city’s ability to host the Winter Olympics.

Aimee Fuller fell during her slopestyle final. (Image Credit: GETTY via.

Four years ago Sochi came under criticism for being too warm to host the Winter Olympics. Beijing, who have been awarded the 2022 games, has come under similar scrutiny. So hosting the games in Pyeongchang, where it falls to sub-zero temperatures, should be more suitable, shouldn’t it?

Well so far the decision to finally hand the games over to the Korean city after two previous failed attempts has cast doubts in people’s minds.

Both the men’s downhill and women’s slopestyle qualification were postponed on Sunday, as well as the women’s giant slalom today, all due to high winds.

It therefore came as a shock to many when the women’s slopestyle final, which took place this morning, didn’t befall to a similar fate.

All the riders fell at least once, as the winds once again wrecked havoc at Phoenix snow park.

Great Britain’s Aimee Fuller came 17th, whilst Austrian Anna Gasser – one of the favourites to finish in the medal positions – could only manage a 15th place finish.

USA’S Jamie Anderson went on to defend her Olympic title from four years ago, but many felt the competition was unfair and dangerous.

Bronze medallist Enni Rukajarvi told the BBC: “It was pretty bad. I’m happy to land my run and get a good score but I’m most happy that no one got hurt bad.

“I don’t think it was a fair competition and I’m a little disappointed in the organisation that they pulled through with it,” Grasser added.

“I think it was not a good show for women’s snowboarding.”

Fuller also wasn’t pleased, stating that she “feared for her life at times.”

“The wind ripped me sideways and there was not a chance I was going to land,” she said.

“I don’t think this was a true reflection of women’s slopestyle which is a shame for our sport.”

With the two skiing events rescheduled for Thursday, discussions have already begun to possibly extend the games , in an attempt to restrict congestion with multiple events taking place on the same day.

For some, the decision to let extreme events like the slopestyle final take place in such harsh conditions was a shocking one by the organisers. Serious injury were a huge possibility and on hindsight it was a minor miracle everyone came away from the contest relatively unharmed.

Although some would say the criticism is unfair and unjustified. This is after all the WINTER Olympics. Athletes come from across the globe to compete against each other and attempt to overcome the conditions they are met with.

The last few editions of the games have taken place in warmer conditions, with the temperatures at the 1994 games in Lillehammer the closest to what people are experiencing in Korea. That factor may have affected athletes preparations. Training in warmer conditions may not of best placed anyone when they competing at -11 degrees.

One will hope the organisers will take the last few days in consideration when they look to elect host cities for future Winter Olympic games, although it seems nowadays that wherever the games take place, there will always be controversy.


Figure skating team event: Gold- CANADA, Silver- OAR, Bronze- USA

Women’s 10km pursuit: Gold- Laura Dahlmeier (GERMANY), Silver- Anastasiya Kuzmina (SLOVAKIA), Bronze- Anais Bescond (FRANCE)

Men’s moguls: Gold- Mikael Kingsbury (CANADA), Silver- Matt Graham (AUSTRALIA), Bronze- Daichi Hara (JAPAN)

Men’s 12.5km pursuit: Gold- Martin Fourcade (FRANCE), Silver- Sebastian Samuelsson (SWEDEN), Bronze- Benedikt Doll (GERMANY)

Women’s 1500m speed skating: Gold- Ireen Wust (NETHERLANDS), Silver- Miho Takagi (JAPAN), Bronze- Marrit Leenstra (NETHERLANDS)

Women’s normal hill ski jumping: Gold- Maren Lundby (NORWAY), Silver- Katharina Althaus (GERMANY), Bronze- Sara Takanashi (JAPAN)

Women’s slopestyle: Gold- Jamie Anderson (USA), Silver- Laurie Blouin (CANADA), Bronze- Enni Rukajarvi (FINLAND)



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