Sochi set for test events
The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee is working around the clock to get ready for the highlight of the 2014 winter. Test events in all FIS Olympic disciplines will be carried out at the newly constructed competition venues this upcoming winter season.
FIS representatives from alpine, cross country and freestyle skiing and snowboarding conducted site inspections in Sochi this week with positive feedback.
"The work at the alpine skiing venue and the development of the finish area is well on track," said Mike Kertesz, technical operations manager for the men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup. "We were able to recreate the entire mixed zone and inspect all details of the Games' time operations. These will also be recorded with GPS for direct use and construction in 2014. The FIS European Cup Finals in March, 2013 will offer yet another opportunity for the Organizing Committee to test and refine their processes and further train their staff."
Demanding cross country courses await
Pierre Mignerey, FIS race director for cross country skiing, was on hand to inspect the Laura cross country skiing venue. "70 percent of the work on the courses and stadium has already been finished and the rest is expected to be completed for the upcoming season," Mignerey said. "At the end of this unbelievable construction process, we will have really nice but demanding competition courses and a good setup to carry out the cross country competitions during the Sochi 2014 Games.
"The Cross-Country and Biathlon venue will be one of the most 'compact' ever with both stadiums and the athletes' village within a 1.5-kilometer radius. Our big thanks go to the Organizing Committee and the thousands of workers who have been working night and day to get everything ready for the Games."
Snowboard and freestyle ski venues on track
On the freestyle skiing and snowboard side, the events will be taking place in the so-called Sochi Extreme Park of the ski resort Rosa Khutor. There will be two different stadiums: one for the halfpipe, aerials and moguls events and one for parallel snowboard, ski and snowboard cross and ski and snowboard slopestyle.
"Currently the venue looks like a large playground featuring ramps, bumps and steep banks of soil," said FIS Snowboard Race Director Uwe Beier. "This is meant in a positive way as it shows that the venues are close to completion. We are already at the stage to start discussing camera positions and further detailed aspects.
"In particular, the slope style course, which has been lacking behind is almost finalized and looks good," added Beier. "Due to the geographical conditions, we have embedded large parts of the slope style race track on soil, which is quite unique throughout our worldwide competition venues. Overall, we are really satisfied with the progress of the competition venues and the perspectives for this winter’s test events are really encouraging.”
Cover Photo: USSA/Tom Kelly