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SBD/February 4, 2014/Olympics
Sochi Officials Consider Changes To Slopestyle Course After Snowboarder's Injury
Published February 4, 2014
HERE COMES THE SUN: In L.A., David Wharton notes storms over the last seven days have "blanketed the nearby Caucasus mountain range where skiing, snowboarding and sliding events will take place." Still, the region "has a history of warm spells that can arrive overnight." U.S. skier Ted Ligety: "It's obviously a concern. It's something we're going to have to deal with when we get there." Wharton notes weather "should not be a concern for the skaters, curlers and hockey players competing in five venues that make up the 'coastal cluster.'" The mountains are "far more vulnerable." If "all else fails, organizers have stored 710,000 cubic meters of last winter's snowfall under immense thermal blankets, keeping the mounds cool and largely intact over the summer." Those reserves "might come in handy at a low-elevation ski jumping site that Sochi officials claim is the warmest in Winter Games history" (L.A. TIMES, 2/4).
MOVING MOUNTAINS: In Winnipeg, Ted Wyman noted the Krasnaya Polyana area is "home to the Russki Gorki Ski Jumping Center, the Laura Endurance Village, where the cross country skiing and biathlon events will be held, the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and Rosa Khutor Alpine Center and the Sanki Sliding Centre, where luge, bobsleigh and skeleton events will be held." But the "picturesque, Banff-like village, which has seemingly been built almost entirely for these Olympics, doesn’t seem quite ready for action." A mall built in the center of town has "yet to open" as of this past weekend, and the "same goes for a bank and a Subway sandwich shop." Workers were "still pouring cement in some locations and jack-hammering in others, no doubt the kind of finishing touches often applied at the last minute before such a massive undertaking" (WINNIPEG SUN, 2/2).
BREAKING THE BANK? In L.A., Wharton & Loiko noted the budget for Fisht Stadium, where the Opening Ceremony will be held Friday, "could reach" $700M. That would "be 14 times higher than originally estimated and 2.5 times more expensive than similar stadiums around the world." The cost of the Adler Arena Skating Center for long-track speedskating has risen to $226.3M, an "estimated 2.4 times higher than the going rate." Meanwhile, the Sanki Sliding Center "could cost as much" as $76.5M, making it "1.6 times more expensive than comparable facilities" (L.A. TIMES, 2/3).