The temperature at the biathlon stadium in Kontiolahti, Finland checked in at -26 Celsius (about -15 Fahrenheit) on Thursday morning, prompting the organizing to announce some changes to the race schedule. The races have been moved to the warmest part of the day, generally starting between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time. Organizers also decided to change the mixed relay course, avoiding a section that runs along a lake and is even more frigid then the rest of the course.
The start list for Friday’s mixed relay is already posted, and it appears that most teams will be benching their best athletes, who are worried about how to stay healthy in such cold weather. Among the traditional favorites, Sweden will be starting more or less its usual team, and Ukraine and Russia will also have several stars in the lineup. The U.S. will start Sara Studebaker, Annelies Cook, Jay Hakkinen, and Russell Currier, while the Canadians are sitting out the race as almost the entire team is training at home.