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Fifty days to Nagano: Where's the snow?

HAKUBA, Japan -- The skier looked at the slope as it glistened under a bright sun, and he shook his head. "I haven't seen conditions here this bad in years," said Hideki Inone, a firefighter and Nagano native. "It's just unbelievable." Just a few yards from a set of huge Olympic rings marking the start of the women's downhill course, jagged rocks and patches of semi-frozen mud shown through snow that was but a thin, lumpy blanket.
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