February 12, 2018 6:42 am

Pyeongchang 2018: Women’s slopestyle snowboarders compete despite high winds, critics call it irresponsible

Snowboarding - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Slopestyle Finals - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 12, 2018 - Aimee Fuller of Britain falls in the snow while competing. REUTERS/Mike Blake


During the first run of the finals for women’s slopestyle in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Monday, only five snowboarders made it down the course without falling.

Canada’s Laurie Blouin – who was one of the ones who fell – grabbed second place at the event high up in the mountains to grab Canada’s sixth medal, despite the high winds and her fall in her first run.

READ MORE: Canada’s Laurie Blouin wins silver in slopestyle

She also crashed during a training run earlier in the week.

IN PHOTOS: Women’s slopestyle event on Monday in Pyeongchang took out many a competitor, some of which are blaming the high winds

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The finals were delayed by over an hour on Monday by the winds, which were up to 10 metres per second, and a third run down the mountain was cancelled.

The qualifiers on Sunday were cancelled completely – leading every eligible snowboarder to compete in the final.

Many blamed the winds for the multitude of falls, and BBC commentator Ed Leigh said he had “serious questions” about why the event was allowed to continue.

“It wasn’t about who was best on the day, it was about who could get the best of the conditions,” Leigh said, according to the BBC.

READ MORE: Winter Olympics 2018: medal count results

The winner of the event, American Jamie Anderson, said she was just happy she stuck her landings, despite the weather.

“It’s hard. We have to be so intuitive with the weather, the course, with how you feel,” Anderson said.

“I really didn’t think it was going to last over to the second run. I was planning on doing a better run and cleaning everything up, but honestly, I’m ecstatic.”

Earlier Monday, Pyeongchang organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you told reporters that the windy weather would continue into Wednesday.

WATCH: Olympians share their stories

“The temperature in the mountains is minus 15 to minus 25 Celsius,” he said. “The wind speed is five-10 metres per second and it is making competitions very difficult.”

Some snowboarders didn’t make it to the finals, after a devastating fall during training Australian Tess Coady tore her ACL – an accident she blamed on high winds.

“Got picked up in the wind on the bottom jump in practice and my ACL was not a big fan,” she wrote on Instagram.

Australian chef de mission Ian Chesterman has called for an inquiry from the Federation Internationale de Ski to find out if the training events should have been cancelled due to the weather — the men’s event earlier in the day had been cancelled.

“I don’t think anyone can say for sure that’s (high winds) what caused this accident but I think it certainly needs to be reviewed,” Chesterman said, according to Perth Now.

“I think the international federation need to at some point review whether or not training should have taken place. They obviously cancelled the event.”

The snowboarding events took place at Phoenix Snow Park.

Alpine Skiing, at Yongpyong Alpine Centre, was cancelled Monday due to high winds and rescheduled for Thursday.





© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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