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Park City’s Karz has her Olympic debut postponed because of strong winds

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They’re trying to run the event to the best of their ability with safety and fairness, and we just have to respect that. – Devery Karz


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RIO DE JANEIRO — Devery Karz may have been disappointed that wind delayed her Olympic debut at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, but the Park City native didn’t show it.

“Rough water,” said Karz, who was scheduled to compete in her first heat of lightweight double sculls with partner Kate Bertko Sunday morning. “Nothing you can do.”

She and her teammates understood that officials were simply trying to keep the competition safe and fair.

“They’re trying to run the event to the best of their ability with safety and fairness, and we just have to respect that. The weigh-in adds an edge. We weighed in today, and we have to weigh in tomorrow. But it’s all part of racing. Everyone’s got to do it.”

The gusts that swept down from the mountains and across the lagoon blew the lanes askew and churned the water, at times so significantly it created whitecaps. One U.S. official even reported having a blast of wind that upended several of their shade tents and blew them into the air “Mary Poppins” style.

The races were delayed twice before officials decided the weather was just going to get worse and postponed all of Monday’s races. The races will be held Monday, along with all of the competitions already scheduled for Tuesday.

The schedule change means all of the USA’s rowing teams will be in the water Monday, with all competitions in rowing completed by Saturday, Aug. 13.

The hundreds of fans with tickets to Saturday’s races at the scenic lagoon were more frustrated as they huddled in walkways to escape the heat of the sun, and then eventually left without seeing any races.

Lightweight double sculls coach John Parker said they actually plan and practice for such scenarios.

“I put them through drills just for situations like this,” he said. “So when I told them we weren’t racing, they were fine.”

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