`Rain stopped play' is not

the only way weather can interfere with sport, as some recent news items have shown.


The snowstorms that have caused huge disruption in Tokyo have come as more welcome news for the organisers of the Winter Olympics in Nagano. Towards the end of December, when the usual snow had not yet arrived, snow-making machines were brought in as a sensible precaution. Organisers also went to Nagano's Zenkoji temple on New Year's Day to pray for a successful Games and for snow. The first major snowfall of the winter arrived five days later.

Aviemore, Scotland

Organisers of the 16th Suprium Aviemore Husky Rally in the Glenmore Forest had their fingers crossed for cold weather at the weekend. The dogs - of which over 100 were competing - have to pull their owners along a seven- mile course. "There are Husky races all over the country but this one is the biggest. You get people from all walks of life and all ages competing. It is a very hard, gruelling trail," a spokeswoman explained, and even a sprinkling of snow will make life easier for the dogs by reducing the friction between sleigh and ground. The organisers, however, were not too worried, even if there was no snow at all. "They are highly competitive, extremely fit and impressive dogs."