Snowboarding

The Associated Press - Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014 02:57 ET

Men's halfpipe dogged by rising temps, but on schedule

Danny Davis, Hannah Teter bemoan state of course

Danny Davis is shown training for Olympic halfpipe.
American Danny Davis, seen training, had some harsh words for the course. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The men's Olympic halfpipe competition will begin with qualifying at 5 a.m. ET local time as originally planned.

Earlier Tuesday, officials at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park had posted a change to the schedule.

There will be two qualifying heats followed by the semifinals at 10 a.m. ET, with the top 12 riders advancing to the final at 12:30 p.m.ET.

Rising temperatures have wreaked havoc with the halfpipe during training.

Rider after rider took a crash course Monday night.

There were dozens of falls, very few big tricks and a lot of complaining during a practice session that was pushed from morning to night while workers tried to make fixes. The men's event is Tuesday, and American Shaun White will be seeking his third straight gold medal.

"When you see every other person fall, you know something's wrong," said American Hannah Teter, who took gold in 2006 and silver four years ago. "It's a little dangerous. I've seen more people fall today than I saw all season. It's dangerous because it's crappy."

American Danny Davis labeled the halfpipe as "garbage" on Sunday. After returning Monday, he said things were slightly improved but not ideal.

"It's a bummer to show up to an event like the Olympics and not have the quality of the halfpipe match the quality of the riders," Davis said. "Anyone who watched practice tonight can see there were a bunch of people bouncing around in the flat bottom."

White called it "pretty hard to ride," but said it was nothing riders haven't dealt with before at other competitions.

"The flat bottom is just sand and mush," he said. "It's pretty heavy. And once everyone gets in there, it just turns to mush."

Riders said the steeply vertical pitch of the halfpipe has largely been corrected. But the bottom of the pipe is bouncy and slow.

Four years ago in Vancouver, riders complained about the pipe in the lead-up but said conditions improved for the actual contest.

They're hoping for the same thing here.

"The first contest is tomorrow and nobody's ready," Teter said. "They haven't been able to practice their tricks. They're trying to stay alive every run. It's harsh."

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