Women's training run delayed after 3 skiers
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) American skier Laurenne Ross sailed over the final jump and just kept sailing, and sailing, and sailing.
''You feel like you're never going to come down,'' she said.
The women's Olympic downhill training run was halted Thursday after three racers and postponed until later in the afternoon so workers can shave down the harrowing jump near the finish.
The three skiers who went through the course complained they were getting too much air. The training session was finally stopped after the run of Daniela Merighetti of Italy, who said she hurt both knees when she landed. Soon after, the International Ski Federation announced plans to postpone downhill training a few hours to fix the jump.
All three racers who went down the course will get to start again. The men's training run went on as scheduled on a different course.
Part of the issue was the forerunners who tested out the course before the skiers. They didn't reach the kind of speeds the women did on the track, so the jump wasn't an issue until Ross went down, followed by Verena Stuffer of Italy and then Merighetti. Each sailed quite far in the air.
''I'm upset they didn't have more expert forerunners,'' said Merighetti, who was visibly upset after her run. ''They would've known not to send us down.''
Ross felt honored to be the first skier through the Olympic course, even if the experience was a little ''intimidating.'' She said she held back a bit, just to get the lay of the land.
Still, that jump definitely caught her by surprise. Like Merighetti, Ross said more experienced forerunners are necessary.
''It would be a little bit more settling for us that have the first couple of bibs, to have athletes going as fast as we're going,'' Ross said. ''That's what forerunners are for, to test the track and give you a course report. It's tough when they're just not going quite as fast as you. You know you're going to get more air.''