Organising Committee prepared to successfully tackle challenges of mountain venues
During each edition of the Olympic Winter Games, Organising Committees are often faced with unique challenges posed by hosting winter sports events in mountain settings.
And the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games are no different. But fortunately, like many before it, the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee has put in place a number of measures to ensure that the venues in the Mountain Cluster can keep the Games running in all manner of conditions.
And Sergey Estrin, venue manager of the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, believes that all of these measures are working well so far.
“The mountain cluster in Sochi works quite successfully,” he says. “We have basically conducted all of the sport disciplines. All the competitions were quite successful.”
Measures implemented by the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee to ensure the smooth running of events in the Mountain Cluster include the storing of 710,000 cubic metres of snow, which, according to Estrin, has so far not been required at Rosa Khutor.
© IOC / Ian Jones
Organisers have also been able to call on specialist snowmaking equipment, including 404 fixed and 27 mobile snowmaking machines, which are able to produce snow when temperatures rise above zero.
These facilities have enabled the Organising Committee to produce the best surface possible during the Games, according to Estrin.
“In such high performance sports as downhill skiing, athletes show their best results when we have a mixture of natural snow and artificial snow,” he explains. “So we use a mixture of the natural snow that actually fell this year — quite a lot of it, in fact, which is why we haven’t used any of our snow reserves stocked up from the last season. At the same time, our artificial snow systems allow us to produce enough snow so that we can mix it with natural snow and compress it to create the best environment in the competition zones.
“This particular process was implemented across the board at the Mountain Cluster and the successes and positive results of this work enable the athletes today to show their best performances.”