CALGARY, FEB. 9 -- With four days to go until the opening ceremonies of the XVth Winter Olympics, snow-covered Calgary is about to get a welcome break from a numbing cold spell that has worried organizers of the Games.
A mild Chinook wind is expected to come blowing into town from the west Wednesday afternoon, raising temperatures to near 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chinook conditions are expected to remain Thursday and Friday, with only a slight drop in temperatures for Saturday's outdoor opening ceremonies.
This is good news for a town that has been shivering in temperatures of minus-25, which caused some problems for icemakers on the bobsled and luge runs at Canada Olympic Park and at the site of Sunday's men's downhill at Nakiska.
The warming trend, combined with a two-inch dusting of snow, would provide nearly ideal conditions for the opening Olympic weekend after almost a year of worrying, first, that the weather might not be cold enough, then, that it might be too cold.
Last-minute decisions are still being made by some U.S. coaches. The hockey team released forwards Tom Chorske of Minneapolis and Brad Jones of Sterling Heights, Mich., Coach Dave Peterson announced today. They are the final players to be cut as the team, which finished its exhibition tour with a 37-18-5 record, prepares for its opener Saturday against Austria.
Each team is allowed to keep 20 skaters and three goalkeepers.
The U.S. team is expected to have a realistic shot at a bronze medal in stiff competition with the Soviet, Canadian and Swedish teams, in particular.
In an interview today with the Associated Press, Chang Ung, secretary general of the North Korean Olympic Committee, said while his country is interested in the Olympic Games, which will take place in September in Seoul, South Korea, it is more interested in the unification of the two countries. North Korea has rejected the IOC's proposal to host five events and has not accepted an invitation to compete.