Sochi’s Iceberg Skating Palace to provide “beautiful” Games venue
The eye-catching Iceberg Skating Palace will provide a “beautiful” venue for figure skating and short track speed skating during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, according to some of the athletes who will be competing there. The 12,000-seat venue hosted the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix Final in December 2012 and the ISU Short Track World Cup in February 2013, with competitors at both events praising the new facility.
The 12,000-seat venue hosted the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix Final in December 2012 and the ISU Short Track World Cup in February 2013, with competitors at both events praising the new facility.
"It's a beautiful arena and the atmosphere is just fantastic," said American ice dancer Meryl Davis, who partnered Charlie White to victory in the Figure Skating Grand Prix Final. “Everything feels great."
Reigning Olympic ice dance champion Tessa Virtue, of Canada, was also impressed by the venue after finishing runner-up with partner Scott Moir to Davis and White. “The arena looks great, the ice is fantastic," she said.
Like Davis, Japan’s Olympic silver medallist Mao Asada also praised the “beautiful” design of the Iceberg Skating Palace.
“It's beautiful, the arena was beautiful,” she said after winning the women’s figure skating event in December. "It was very nice, easy to skate.”
The President of the International Skating Union, Ottavio Cinquanta, has also revealed his admiration for the venue.
"I would like to say that everything at the Iceberg Skating Palace creates a really good impression,” he said. “The arena has been prepared thoroughly and we can only congratulate our Russian colleagues on a job well done. It deserves respect.”
The Iceberg Skating Palace is situated in the Coastal Cluster of venues, within Scohi’s Olympic Park. It sits alongside the Bolshoi Ice Dome and the Shayba Arena, which will both host ice hockey, the Ice Cube Curling Centre, the Adler Arena speed skating venue and the Fisht Olympic Stadium, which will stage the Opening and Closing Ceremony.
During the Games, it will take just two hours to adjust the ice at the Iceberg Skating Palace, when switching from figure skating to short track, with Sochi 2014 CEO and President Dmitry Chernyshenko hoping that the venue will play host to memorable moments in both disciplines.
“Our ultra-modern ice palace, located right in the heart of the Olympic Park, will be the perfect backdrop for inspirational performances and brilliant victories,” he said.
After the Games, the training rink at the venue is due to be transported to the city of Stavropol to provide a quality facility for the local area, while the Iceberg Palace itself could be transformed into a velodrome, according to Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, or moved to another Russian city for use as a skating centre.