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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Video Energy Lacking at Annual Offshore Oil Conference

    The slump in oil prices that began in 2014 has taken a toll on the industry but all express confidence it will end eventually

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora