The Latest From The Vancouver Olympics

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Drippy Vancouver weather has stopped the high-profile alpine events at the Winter Olympics again on Sunday, but the speedskating and freestyle skiing competitions are going strong. NPR's Howard Berkes fills in host Guy Raz about the latest from the Vancouver Games, which includes Sunday's run of the men's luge — on a course modified after a competitor died there Friday.

GUY RAZ, host:

We're back with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

And a quick update now from the Winter Olympics. NPR's Howard Berkes is with us from Whistler. That's where many of the skiing events are supposed to take place.

Hi, Howard.


RAZ: So what's going on with the weather?

BERKES: Well, yeah, the weather. As you said, the skiing events were supposed to have begun by now, but it's been nothing but heavy rain, fog, some snow but not very much to speak of, dark and cloudy and dismal. I think we could call these the gloomy games so far in terms of the weather, except right now, I'm standing outside at Whistler, near the downhill venue, and I can see something very strange in the sky.

It's blue. There's also this white light that we haven't seen for a while. People here are looking up in awe and wonder at the fact that it looks like it might actually be clearing, and race officials are actually very excited. They think that they'll be able to get the first downhill event off tomorrow. That's the men's downhill.

And Lindsey Vonn - this weather has been great for American Lindsey Vonn, who was injured. She had a serious shin injury. She needed some time to heal and to rest up, and she's had that because her events have been delayed. Her first race is Wednesday, and it looks like it'll get off as well if this weather holds.

RAZ: Mm. That's good news. Quickly, Howard, the events that are going on, Americans were set to win medals going into the final event of the Nordic combined. That's the 10K cross-country race. How are they doing?

BERKES: Well, saying they were set to win medals would be a very optimistic way to put it because an American has never won a medal in that event. But in fact, just a few moments ago, Johnny Spillane finished second in the 10-kilometer cross-country ski.

Silver medal for an American, that's the first medal in Nordic combined ever. We've never won a medal in that sport. Todd Lodwick, his colleague, finished fourth. You know, Americans are not known for being good at cross-country skiing in the Olympics. There's only been one medal in the history of the Winter Olympics for an American.

There's some hope that a medal here might, you know, change that, might attract more young people to the sport and to competing in the sport. So this is very big news for cross-country skiing in the United States.

RAZ: NPR's Howard Berkes in Whistler. Thanks so much.

BERKES: You're welcome.

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