Winter Olympics Turn into Spring Skiing

    Winter Olympics Turns into Spring Skiingi
    X
    February 15, 2014 6:23 PM
    "Hot. Cool. Yours” is the slogan of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Some think it may now be too hot. James Brooke reports from the mountains above Sochi.
    VIDEO: “Hot. Cool. Yours,” the Sochi Winter Olympics slogan, is beginning to get way too hot.
    James Brooke
    “Hot. Cool. Yours.” That's the slogan of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Now, it may be too hot.

    Halfway up the main ski mountain for the Winter Olympics, it is starting to look like the Spring Olympics. Snow is starting to melt. At lunchtime, skiers peel off parkas — and sometimes shirts.

    But sports doctor Sergei Litkov, a native of the region, says not to worry.

    “It will all be OK,” said the trauma surgeon who pulled off his shirt at lunch.

    “At the top, there is a 1.5 meter — 2 meter base,” he said of the snow pack.

    But one man’s tanning salon is another woman’s skiing nightmare.

    Italian Alessia Dipol skis downhill slalom for the team of Togo.

    “Today, I had training, but the snow was really, really soft, and I don’t really like so much this type of snow,” she said, standing in wet snow. “It is slower, and the volunteers put salt, so it is like shampoo, skiing on shampoo. I don’t like it.”

    Skiers complain that softening snow is deciding race results. As a result, Olympic organizers are moving races to earlier in the morning.

    At the peak of Rosa Khutor mountain, nighttime temperatures still fall below freezing.

    But at mid-mountain, temperatures at lunchtime rise to a balmy 13 Celsius.

    “The top is pretty amazing," says Yvonne Batal, a volunteer from Utah, a major American skiing state, after an outdoor lunch in the sun. "The conditions are terrific. But as you get to the bottom, it’s like mashed potatoes — completely, awesome spring skiing.”

    An international army of volunteers is working to get the Olympics through this warm spell — forecast to last until Wednesday.

    American volunteer John Lychak, a Pennsylvania lawyer, recalls working on the Men’s Downhill course.

    “Our shift was from 12 midnight until approximately 8 a.m., [a] crew of maybe 30 or 40 of us with high pressure hoses and pouring literally thousands and thousands of gallons onto the slope," he said. "They would churn it up and it would freeze overnight and they would create the surface they were looking for.”

    Climate change makes technology increasingly key for the Winter Olympics.

    A new historical study shows that average February temperatures for Sochi and other Winter Olympic host cities increased by seven degrees Celsius since the first Winter Olympics was held in 1924.

    In the mountains above Sochi, people hope there will be enough snow this year for the Olympics’ scheduled concluding event — the Men’s 50 kilometer Cross Country on February 23.

    “At the peak it’s a bit colder than here, but at the base we have a lot of events,” said Lychak. “With the lower elevations it is going to make a big difference.”

    His colleague believes there will be enough snow to go around.

    “There will be a snow miracle,” said Batal.

    For now, people are praying for the "Cool" in the Olympic slogan.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.