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Fog rolls in and kicks skiers out of practice

Fog forced the first men's downhill training run at Whistler to be canceled Wednesday after only 42 of 87 scheduled racers had completed the Olympic course. Didier Cuche of Switzerland had posted the fastest time, but it wasn't immediately clear if the session would count officially.

Rules require at least one training session be held before the downhill race. Two more training sessions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, with the race Saturday, but more bad weather is forecast.

Race officials extended the session time into late afternoon, trying to get the final 45 skiers down the 1.93-mile track.

Cuche is racing with a broken right thumb. He had surgery Jan. 30, getting a titanium plate and seven screws after falling in a World Cup giant slalom race.

Finally some snow

Cypress Mountain has been hit with a surprise snowstorm, giving the home of the Olympic freestyle and snowboarding venues a much-needed break a few days before competition begins. Olympic officials expected between 2 and 4 inches of snow and said that should give them some cushion.

An uncommonly warm winter has forced officials to truck in tons of snow. The biggest problem at Cypress has been forming the half-pipe, where two days of practice have been canceled.

On guard against betting

The International Olympic Committee remains vigilant against the threat of illegal betting and match-fixing at the games. "Illegal betting is as serious a threat for sport as doping," IOC president Jacques Rogge said. "It's a very serious concern for the future. We will do everything we can to guard against it."

The IOC set up a system to monitor betting patterns during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but found no illegal activity. A similar system is in place for the Vancouver Winter Games. "It's clear we have to be very prudent," Rogge said. "Sooner or later it will happen during the games." All those accredited for the games are barred from betting on Olympic competitions.

Money keeps coming in

The IOC's finances are on the upswing despite global economic troubles. Rogge says the committee's financial reserves stood at $466 million at the end of 2009, up from $422 million the previous year. The funds allow the IOC to continue operating for four years in the event of an Olympics being canceled. - AP

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