News / Europe

Sochi Olympics Organizers say Weather No Problem

A man jogs on a sunny day as the Olympic Cauldron and flame are seen in the background in the Olympic Park during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 12, 2014.
A man jogs on a sunny day as the Olympic Cauldron and flame are seen in the background in the Olympic Park during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 12, 2014.
Reuters
The sun is shining and temperatures feel more like spring than winter but at the Sochi Olympics - the ultimate spectacle of ice and snow - that is not a problem.
 
Quizzed about whether some events might be affected by the mild weather, the International Olympic Committee said there was nothing to worry about.
 
“We are getting a little bit premature here,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters on Wednesday.
 
“I was at some of the events yesterday and it doesn't seem to me to be an issue. I gather snow is coming at the weekend and that temperatures will go down.”
 
Before more snow arrives, temperatures are forecast to crawl up further in the next two days, to a high of around 16 degrees Celsius in Sochi and at least 12 degrees in the nearby mountains.
 
Temperatures at the Extreme Park on Wednesday were 11 degrees in the shade and 15 in the sun, according to Oleg Kitov, deputy competition manager for the freestyle skiing and snowbaording venue.
 
“The conditions have been difficult for the last eight days,” Kitov told reporters. “Before that, it was a mixture of natural and artificial snow, now it's more like a granular snow on the surface.
 
“There is no plan to bring in more snow, but we will see what happens. Every morning it is quite safe, but our concern now is mostly about (warm temperatures in) the daytime,” he said.
 
No postponements
 
Adams said previous winter Games had seen postponements of events but that was not the case in Sochi so far.
 
“I think I am right in saying, everything has happened and on schedule so far, so if this is a problem then let's have more of them. It seems quite good,” Adams said.
 
Sochi's pitch to the IOC to host the Games focused heavily on the contrasting climates of subtropical Sochi and the snow-capped mountains of Krasnaya Polyana and Adams said it was proving to be an ideal setting.
 
“I love the blue sky. The pictures are fantastic. The first day of the slopestyle was just breathtaking and, by the way, it's a bit chilly in the evenings,” he said.
 
“I was up at the snow pipe last night, I think it got down to minus something, so it seems to be freezing in the night.
 
“In a lot of ski resorts it's a similar picture so actually, at this stage, I do not think it is a problem.”
 
On Tuesday, some athletes complained that the warm temperatures were starting to affect the quality of the snow, but just a day later they were relishing the glorious sunshine.
 
“Yesterday it was pretty fast. Today was even faster, faster than the downhill race,” said Alpine skier Alexis Pinturault.
 
“The snow is softer. It was pleasant. The ground is excellent but it goes faster and you can easily be taken by surprise by the speed.
 
“We have to do things faster than yesterday. You have to get used to this kind of snow.”

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs