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Recent FIS News
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Sochi preparing for first FIS events
After the positive snow control last Saturday, both the ladies' and men's European Cup circuits will be visiting Rosa Khutor, near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, for two weekends of Alpine speed racing marking the first international test events for the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. The competition schedule features a downhill and super-G race for each gender. The men's races are scheduled on 17th-18th February whilst the ladies will compete on 24th-26th February.
Over 160 athletes from countries including Russia, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland along with 100 officials are expected to test the slopes of Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort. With these test competitions the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will be able to check systems and staff efficiency in the alpine center as well as the technical readiness of the facility for international competitions in Alpine Skiing. The Russian Alpine Ski and Snowboard Federation is responsible for the preparation and hosting of the event. Svetlana Gladysheva, its President, underlined that "the primary purpose of the test competitions being held this February is to test the Olympic slopes. The Alpine Complex and the Alpine Skiing competitions are the most complicated to prepare and stage, and that's why we are paying special attention to the athletes' safety."
From 8th-13th February, one week prior to the European Cup event, a stage of the Russian Cup is being held on the slopes of Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort. In recent days, snowfall has set in after having been eagerly anticipated by the organizer and final preparations are now underway to get Sochi ready for the three and a half weeks of ski racing including the Russian and European Cup races.
Even though the European Cups will start further down than originally planned due to difficult snow conditions for course preparation, there is still a vertical drop of 800 meters. There will be 24 television cameras in position for live coverage, which brings additional media exposure and importance to the whole event.
An International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegation including Jean-Claude Killy, the IOC's Sochi 2014 Coordination Commission Chairman, and Christophe Dubi, IOC Sports Director, will observe the European Cup and meet with FIS officials afterwards to discuss the implementation of the test event program.
The weather forecast for the coming days predicts light frost and colder temperatures. This comes as a blessing for the organizers responsible for the preparation of the course as the snow surface is currently still quite soft for racing. According to Sergei Bachin, General Director of Rosa Khutor, hotels, restaurants, public transport and the security system have all been fine-tuned to guarantee an unforgettable stay in Sochi for athletes and supporting staff.
"The ski runs are well constructed, and the snow making system is working better than we had expected," Bachin said. It is the beginning. Rosa Khutor is an unusual facility and much work remains to be done, especially the building of an Olympic village, which is a declared mission to be accomplished," says Bachin.
More ski racing competitions are planned to be organized in Sochi towards the end of this year, and another series of test events are scheduled for early 2012, making the forthcoming three competition series in February 2011 the first step of what is yet to come.
Contributed by Sandra Kühni
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