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Men's combined postponed by, alas, snow

WHISTLER, British Columbia - An overnight snowstorm forced ski officials to postpone yesterday's men's super-combined race for nearly a week and call off women's downhill training, the latest shuffling to the Alpine calendar at the Vancouver Olympics.

With snow still falling Tuesday, the super-combined was bumped to Sunday. The men's giant slalom that was supposed to be Sunday has been shifted to Tuesday, Feb. 23.

The men's super-combined is the third race that has been postponed following the mix of warm temperatures, snow, rain and fog that wreaked havoc with the Alpine schedule last week.

Of the four Alpine races scheduled so far, only one has gone off - the men's downhill won Monday by Didier Defago of Switzerland.

Dry weather is forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing at night, aiding workers in preparing the course for competition.

"If the snow is frozen at least in the morning, we can handle many more things than if you have slushy conditions as we have right now," men's race director Guenter Hujara explained.

The Olympics end Feb. 28, and officials say they are still confident the Alpine events will be finished by then. "I'm always optimistic," Hujara said. "No panic on our side. No panic at all."

After the rescheduled men's super-combined, Monday is set aside as a day with no racing. Then action is to resume the next day with the men's giant slalom, followed by the women's giant slalom Feb. 24. After another day without racing, the women's slalom is Feb. 26 and the men's slalom Feb. 27.

New York Sports