Sochi save this winter’s snow!
Today’s snowflake just might be tomorrow’s Olympic ski jump. At least that’s the case in Sochi, Russia. In February 2014, the resort city along the coast of the Black Sea is hosting the first Winter Olympics in a subtropical region. So what’s an Olympic city to do when winter feels more like spring?
Save this winter’s snow for next winter’s Games.
This past weekend, Sochi rolled out what it calls the “Guaranteed Snow Program” in its first international test event at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center where ski jumpers competed in 50-degree temperatures. There will be snow on the runs, hills and jumps even when the temperature is above freezing, organizers say.
And so, the Sochi organizing committee dumped 4,600 cubic meters of snow (about 162,447 cubic feet) on the ski jump. The snow was collected last year in a reservoir near the venue and stored in a freezer of sorts – ice sheets in the mountains.
“Snow in February in Sochi is guaranteed, but in case of warm weather, we have prepared a backup plan,” Dmitry Chernyshenko, chair of the organizing committee, said after the event. “We are storing snow from the previous season to use at the venues. During the World Cup in ski jumping, we successfully tested the system.”
The next international test event at the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana will take place at the FIS World Cup in cross country skiing and Nordic combined in early February.