Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FIS's Inspection Commission Visit Sochi

A delegation of FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard experts inspected the Extreme Park in Krasnaya Polyana/Rosa Khutor, the future site of both Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard competitions at the Sochi 2014 Games. The visit, which took place from 21st to 23rd May 2013, was the latest in what will total 15 inspections before February 2014. In addition to FIS Officials, key staff from the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, Russian National Associations and representatives of the Olympic Broadcasting Service participated in the meeting.
Based on experiences at the FIS World Cup events in February 2013, a thorough evaluation was conducted with regard to the venue layout, competition schedule and organisational structure. Due to challenging weather conditions, 30 per cent of the 20 test events had to be cancelled, including two competitions in Freestyle Skiing and four in Snowboard. Overall, however, the past season’s test events served as an ideal dress rehearsal for the highlight event of 2014 beginning in 254 days.
"There were many exciting sporting moments and beautiful images generated by our FIS World Cup competitions in Sochi last season. Remarks from team officials and competitors concerning the courses and setup were generally positive. Looking ahead to the Games, we will take full advantage of the challenges we faced this year to ensure the highest possible level of readiness in February 2014", commented FIS Snowboard Race Director Uwe Beier.
The inspection also entailed an extensive review of the course layout, finish zones and stadiums. In particular, competition courses will be optimised, especially in the cross events that share the track except for 300 metres, as opposed to only 50 per cent of course length in February 2013. Details of the two stadiums were re-evaluated, one hosting the eight Olympic medal events in halfpipe, aerials and moguls and the other one staging a total of twelve events in parallel, slope and cross. This included a revision of the finish zones, stadium infrastructure and transition plans between the events.
"Overall, the construction work is at the final stage in order to deliver the courses, stadium and venues to the highest standards. We believe that once the full development of the infrastructure is concluded, the Rosa Khutor venue will provide a fantastic setting for our competitions", underlined FIS Freestyle Skiing Coordinator Joseph Fitzgerald.
To ensure global exposure, Games planning has reached a detailed level and the broadcasting schedule for all 20 Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard events during the 14 days of competition is well under way. With slopestyle and halfpipe in both disciplines now included in the Olympic Winter Programme, TV production will attain a new dimension and the inspection featured a review of all camera positions with the Olympic Broadcasting Service.
Finally, the planned organisational structure was adapted to consolidate each group by course rather than by discipline, which will make the work more efficient enhance sharing of know-how between Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard.
Upon his return, Fitzgerald concluded: "In collaboration with the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, we will now need to finish off the last few steps. Given better luck with the weather next year, we will enjoy great events on state of the art competition courses. The Sochi 2014 team has made good progress and I am confident we will stage truly memorable Games in both disciplines".
Sochi was elected as the host city for the XXII Olympic Winter Games at the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala City on 4 July 2007. Sochi won the vote against the cities of Salzburg (Austria) and PyeongChang (Republic of Korea) in the second round of voting. The Russian city edged out PyeongChang 51 votes to 47, with Salzburg having been eliminated in round one. The Sochi 2014 Games will play host to the seven Olympic Winter sports (Skiing, Skating, Luge, Biathlon, Ice Hockey, Curling, and Bobsleigh) currently on the Olympic programme and will run from 7 to 23 February 2014.

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