Men squeeze in training session on ski course

The Olympic men's downhill now at least has a chance of being run as scheduled Saturday. The women still face problems for their first race, Sunday's super-combined.

Despite thick fog and heavy snow that limited visibility, the men managed to get in a full training session Thursday. The women's training was canceled after only two racers took to the Olympic course -- one of whom crashed.

Rules require that at least one training session be held before a downhill or super-combined race and more bad weather is forecast for the next few days.

Didier Cuche of Switzerland led the men's session, speeding down the shortened Dave Murray course in 1 minute, 34.41 seconds.

Michael Walchhofer of Austria placed second, just 0.05 seconds behind Cuche, and Whistler local Robbie Dixon was third, 0.14 back.

Cuche also led Wednesday's opening training before it was canceled when fog prevented the final 45 skiers from starting.

With bad weather forcing organizers to schedule both men's and women's training at the same time, the finish of the men's course was moved up the mountain so it would not conflict with the women at the finish.

Both courses finish in the same spot.

Like Wednesday, the session was characterized by heavy snow and near whiteout conditions at several points along the course.

As soon as all 89 men's racers got their chance to ski, organizers called off the women's session.

Lucia Recchia of Italy was the only skier to make it down safely. The next starter -- Stacey Cook of the United States -- crashed after landing a jump.

Cook was airlifted by helicopter to a medical facility as a precaution, the U.S. Ski Team said, adding that it did not immediately have injury details.

Two more women's training sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday before Sunday's super-combined race.

The women's downhill is scheduled for Feb. 17.