Andrew Musgrave’s Weather Misfortunes, “Bring Your Laptop to Dinner”, Wanaka Forever! – Beijing Diary


Something in the water in Wanaka

It has been quite a few Olympic Games for Wanaka, a New Zealand town of 8,900 inhabitants.

Nico Porteous won gold in men’s freeskiing in the halfpipe on Saturday, following Zoi Sadowski Synnott’s gold and silver in slopestyle and big air snowboarding.

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This puts them ahead of Finland, Hungary and Belgium – among others on the medal table.

Muzzy wants to keep moving – no talking

Andrew Musgrave found himself cursing the weather, officials and the media after his best Olympic chance was dealt a cruel blow.

The four-time Olympian targeted the grueling 50km cross-country race as his key event in Beijing, believing he could challenge the dominant Nordic nations.

But he remained furious after being told the windy conditions and freezing temperatures – it was -17 degrees Celsius and even colder with the wind chill – meant the flagship race would be shortened to just 30km.

“I thought it was a ridiculous decision,” he said.

“If it’s warm enough to run, I don’t see why doing an hour and a quarter or 30km, versus two hours for 50km, would make it any better.

“While you run you stay warm and it’s not too bad. You go so hard it’s easy to stay warm. Staying talking to you after the run, though, is pretty cold! “

weather the storm

Storm Eunice hit Britain this week and the penultimate day of action in Beijing was also battered by the elements.

Due to strong winds and cold weather, the organizers shortened the length of the 50km cross-country classic to 30km – much to the chagrin of Briton Andrew Musgrave.

And the mixed team parallel slalom, the latest alpine skiing event, was postponed for 24 hours and briefly fueled fears it might not be staged before the end of the Games.

The last time an Olympic event was not held due to weather was in 1928 and the men’s 10km speed skating event in Amsterdam, when the ice melted.

Rowing events scheduled for 1896 did not take place due to rough seas off Athens.

suspicious minds

“Bring your laptop for dinner” was the curious advice given to Norwegian athletes here.

Why? Because the country’s security advisers fear that Chinese intelligence services will break into their rooms and hack into their devices.

Runa Sandvik, who previously worked as a security officer for The New York Times, leads security for the Norwegian Olympic team.

“We’ve heard stories of people who have traveled to Russia and China leaving stuff in their rooms,” she said. “When they came back, they found a USB stick inserted, their laptop had been turned on, or other suspicious things.

“Someone may be in his room pretending to make his bed. We want athletes or journalists to ask themselves: “is this dangerous” or “why could I be interesting? »

By the numbers

Keeping the Olympics tightly sealed in a “closed loop” certainly kept them Covid-free.

There were 67,397 tests among athletes, officials and other stakeholders yesterday and no positive results.

Indeed, since the start of the Games, there have been more than 1.7 million tests – everyone who is accredited must have a daily PCR – and only 171 positive.

Quotes of the day

“I’m gay. I felt like I didn’t fit into the sport, and being proud and proud to be in the Olympics and all the opportunities that have come my way since the Olympics, I couldn’t be more grateful.

British freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy enjoys his Olympic experience.

“I don’t think I should be ashamed of myself.”

It’s hard to disagree with Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer, after his 16th place in the mass start. He ended his career with nine Olympic medals, four of which were gold.

– – –

The Olympics will return with Paris 2024, live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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