The Olympic Games in Beijing are not to kick off for another two years but the major medal contenders’ preparations are in full swing always already.
Or were meant to be.
The formula is as follows: exactly two years ahead a team of the most experienced and thorough waxers departs for extended tests carrying literally hundreds of pairs of skis: every possible combination of grind and wax needs to be tried.
Nobody could guarantee that the weather will be the same during the actual event, but there is a bigger chance hitting it right in the same week of the year.
Different courses/ distanced require different tests.
The job therefore is long, arduous and painstaking- but needs to be done of a) the team wants to win b)can afford such a thoroughness.
If all goes well, ski specialists will have a year to study results, and devise / implement best grinds for each and every situation. The best ones will be final-tested during the so-called Olympic Week exactly one year before the Olympics.
There is not much whigle room : if you are serious about winning, you gotta do it.
Well, not this time it seems. China is currently on, effectively, ever tighteung carantine for external travel.
ESPN’s first-ever X Winter Games event in China, X Games Chongli, just got cancelled because of thr coronavirus outbreak. They were scheduled to be held at the end of February at Zhangjiakou – the very place the snow program of Beijing 2020 will be held.
No ski sport manager would consider flying her/ his people to China under these circumstances. In fact, we heard anecdotally, that at least two major teams stood their people down officially.
The Coronavirus shall eventually be defeated or abate on its own, we have no doubt. But the top squads will have to enter the Olympic competitions without a benefit of careful research & testing,hitherto standard.