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 was held on the slopes of Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort. 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 Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort is located at the Aibga Ridge and will host all Alpine Skiing disciplines during the Olympics: Downhill, Combined (Downhill and Slalom), Giant Slalom, Super-G and Slalom.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected last July 4th Sochi as the host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 during its 119th Session in Guatemala City. The Russian resort triumphed over competing bids from Pyongchang in South Korea and Salzburg in Austria.
Set between the golden shores of the Black Sea and the soaring snow-capped Caucasus mountains, Sochi is a treasure among winter sport enthusiasts, who can discover here a paradise of alpine valleys and skiing trails. Beautiful weather and an abundance of powdery snow are enough reasons to travel to Sochi.
The Caucasus Mountains, which form a backdrop to Sochi, are one of the few large mountain areas in the world that have escaped significant human impact. Extensive tracts of undisturbed forests, from the lowlands to the sub-alpine zone, are unique in Europe. The mountain scenery of high peaks, wide valleys, mountain lakes and 60 remnant glaciers will be an unforgettable but undisturbed backdrop to the most celebrated winter sporting event in the world.