Games officials confident Cypress will be ready 

Vancouver Olympic officials are confident concerns about the warm weather's affect on conditions at Cypress Mountain soon will be forgotten.

Dave Cobb, VANOC's executive vice president, said Tuesday both the freestyle skiing and snowboarding courses are at an Olympic-quality caliber. And he noted that members of the international media will see that for themselves later Tuesday afternoon.

"I think today, once you get up there, the story of Cypress will change largely from a weather story to an athletic story," Cobb said.

Tuesday marks the second day of freestyle skiing training sessions. VANOC limited access to Cypress on Monday to coaches and athletes.

After testing the course, World Cup freestyle ski champion Hannah Kearney said course conditions were "absolutely fine."

The conditions at Cypress have dominated headlines leading up to games, which open Friday. Officials spent the past two weeks flying in and trucking in snow from around British Columbia to build a base on the two courses after the region experienced the warmest January on record.

Though temperatures dropped to near freezing conditions Tuesday, the long-range forecast is mixed and includes the possibility of rain through Saturday.

The first event scheduled is women's moguls qualifying on Saturday, with the finals to be raced later that day. Men's qualifying and finals follow on Sunday.

Vancouver Games chief Jack Furlong described the efforts to get Cypress ready for the Olympics as being the committee's greatest challenge.

"The amount of work that has been done against these conditions is really hard to believe," Furlong said. "You'll go up there today and see the venues, and I think you'll be quite surprised by how much has been moved, and how hard they've worked to get it right."

Furlong was thrilled when he woke up Tuesday to find the temperature down to the freezing mark.

"I thought maybe the people in the sky are going to stop playing chicken with us," he said, referring to Mother Nature. "Obviously, when we get a little help, it's great. But we're assuming we're not getting any."

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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