An athlete skis in thick fog at the Laura biathlon center, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The men's 15-kilometer mass-start biathlon race at the Sochi Olympics has been delayed due to fog, one day after the event had been called off for the same reason. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

SOCHI SCENE: Biathletes back to bed

February 17, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) Biathletes have seen their daily rhythm at the Sochi Games disturbed by the rescheduling of a race - a race that then didn't go ahead as planned.

Unlike most World Cup events, all biathlon races at the Olympics are scheduled in the evening. Many competitors are sticking to a Western or Central European time schedule, ignoring the fact that Sochi is three hours ahead of the places where they usually compete during the World Cup season.

That means, they go to bed late and sleep until halfway through the morning.

Not so on Monday.

Thick fog the night before had forced organizers to postpone the men's 15-kilometer mass start until Monday morning, 10 a.m. local time, disallowing the athletes to sleep in.

''This will definitely be the earliest wake up in Sochi so far!'' U.S. biathlete Tim Burke from Lake Placid, NY, posted on Twitter.

However, getting up early proved to be useless. Fog was still hanging over the Laura biathlon venue, leaving organizers no option but to further postpone the race by at least 5 1/2 hours until 3.30 p.m.

''Hurry up and wait. The race is again delayed because of fog. Back to bed for me!'' Burke tweeted this time.

Two-time gold medalist Martin Fourcade, a favorite for the race, also commented on Twitter on his Olympic daily routine being interrupted.

''Don't thank me for getting up at 7am for nothing!'' the Frenchman tweeted.

As weather conditions failed to improve in the afternoon, organizers then had to postpone the race until Tuesday, prompting Fourcade to tweet, ''Well, I am going to sleep again. We'll see each other tomorrow!''

- By Eric Willemsen - Twitter


Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter:

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