World News

Warm Weather Disrupting Sochi Games

A spell of warm weather is disrupting events at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, presenting a challenge for Olympic organizers with temperatures forecast to rise again this week.

Athletes have voiced concerns that melting and soft snow is hampering their ability to compete.

On Tuesday, a training session for Alpine skiing downhill was canceled to protect the snow, while mild weather conditions meant a slushy track for a Nordic Combined event.

Some athletes in the men's biathlon 12.5-kilometer pursuit Monday fell while skiing on a course softened by warm weather.

The head of the Sochi Olympics, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said Tuesday there is no need yet to use emergency snow reserves at mountain venues. But he said organizers are ready to do so if necessary.





"You know that we had a special program to secure the snow, and the snow is still in some reservoirs, that survived over the previous summer, so in case we will need some snow we can use it from our reservoir."



Chernyshenko also spoke in glowing terms about the atmosphere at the Sochi Games, calling it "electric."



"Great conditions for the visitors and spectators to come and have fun and greet our athletes, and this is great that in terms it creates the atmosphere in the Games which is electric now, with a crowd of people gathering all venues."



In Sochi, a Black Sea resort city with a subtropical climate, the average February temperatures are around 10 degrees Celsius. But on Monday, the high was about 16, and after a brief cool down, they could return to the mid-teens on Thursday.

The current conditions have put Sochi on track to be the warmest Winter Olympics in history.

In results Tuesday, Canadian freestyle skier Dara Howell won the women's slopestyle event. She beat American Devin Logan and fellow Canadian Kim Lamarre, giving her country the overall lead in gold medals with nine.

Norway later recaptured the lead, courtesy of big performances by two of its Nordic skiers. Ola Vigen Hattestad won the men's cross-country sprint, and Maiken Caspersen Fallas did likewise in the women's event.

In the men's halfpipe, American snowboarder Shaun White will go for his third straight Olympic gold medal Tuesday. He produced the best score in Tuesday's qualifying heats of 95.75.

Also Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee lifted its ban on India that had been in place since 2012, when India's Olympic Association elected tainted officials. India elected new officials Sunday, clearing the way for its flag to be raised in the Olympic Village.

There are 98 medal events at the Sochi Games, 12 more than in Vancouver in 2010.
###

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs