Women’s coaches protest conditions for team event
VAL D’ISERE, France ” Women’s coaches issued a protest with race organizers Thursday for the team event at the world championships, saying the super-G course is too icy and dangerous for their athletes.
The team event is scheduled for next Wednesday on the Bellevarde course that is being used for men’s speed races this week.
“All the (women’s) coaches went over to take a look at the course after men’s downhill training and we all agreed we can’t take the responsibility to have our girls race super-G there,” Canadian women’s coach Patrick Riml said. “If they keep the super-G in the team event on that hill we will pull our girls from the event.”
The women’s speed races are being held on the new Rhone-Alpes course that faces the Bellevarde.
In Wednesday’s men’s super-G on the Bellevarde, 20 of 67 racers did not finish. Ted Ligety of the United States fell for 300 yards before coming to a stop, and somehow escaped injury.
Women’s race director Atle Skaardal appeared prepared for the protest.
“It’s quite clear that hill is prepared with a lot of water,” Skaardal said. “I’ve been thinking about this problem myself but I don’t have any answers right now. We will continue our investigation over the next couple of days and try to find solutions.”
The team event consists of a super-G and slalom run for men and women, all in one day.
The women’s giant slalom and slalom are also scheduled for the icy Bellevarde.