THE waiting is over for Lindley skier Fiona Hughes.

The 19-year-old cross-country exponent is part of the Great Britain team parading in the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, later today.

Selected after a number of highly-promising performances this season – including a silver medal at the Swiss National Championships and making her World Cup debut – she is looking forward to doing battle with the sport’s elite racers on the biggest stage of all.

She has been working to make sure she’s in the best possible shape (mentally and physically) and the former Greenhead College student will be delighted they are having no problems with the weather at the cross-country venue in Whistler.

Hughes is due to race on Monday in the 10km event. There are sprints, pursuits and relays in the cross-country on Wednesday and Friday and then on February 22, 25 and 27.

Games organisers insist their rescue effort, which has led to tons of snow being trucked to one skiing venue, will ensure events go ahead as planned.

The warmest January on record in Vancouver has led to serious problems with a lack of snow at Cypress Mountain, which is hosting snowboarding and freestyle skiing events.

It has been too warm even for organisers to use snow-making equipment and, instead, snow has been brought by truck and even by helicopter and dumped on top of straw bales, which have tubes inside filled with liquid nitrogen.

John Furlong, chief executive of the organising committee, said: “We didn’t expect a whole month without it being cold enough to make snow.

“It has been the warmest January in history and there was an extraordinarily warm wind, and that did all the damage.

“Maybe, given hindsight, we would have started stockpiling snow even earlier.

“We have got the situation under control, though, and we are fixing it.”