As everyone is looking forward to turn their back to 2013 and welcome 2014 in hopes that it will be a better year, athletes and sports lovers are waiting for the first “event of the year”, the 2014 Winter Olympics. The XXII Olympic Winter Games, as they are called officially, are scheduled to take place from 7 to 23 February 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
The Olympic torch was lit in Ancient Olympia on the 29th of September 2013. It passed through Greece in a seven days journey, and arrived to Moscow on October 7. It will pass by 83 Russian cities before arriving to Sochi on the 7th of February 2014, the day of the opening ceremony. This would be the longest torch relay in Olympic history, a 40,000-mile route.
Athletes from 86 countries have qualified to the games. As for the games, there are 15 winter sport disciplines: in skating there are figure skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating; in skiing there are alpine, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, snowboarding, and freestyle; bobsleigh and skeleton are of the bobsleigh sport disciplines; biathlon, curling, hockey, and luge are the remaining four sports.
In addition to the 15 sports stated above, there are 12 additional sports events of which three are mixed, four men’s events, and five woman’s. The mixed events are the following:
- The biathlon mixed relay where the teams will be of two men and two women. The relay is opened by the women who should complete the first two 6 km legs, then the men will complete the next two 7.5 km legs.
- The figure skating team event in which each team is made up of one male, one female, one pair, and one ice dance couple. Each performs a routine. The winner team is the one with the highest total points.
- The luge team relay where each nation will field a men’s singles sled, a doubles sled and a women’s singles sled. All three will slide down the track, one after another, with the clock stopping only after the third sled has crossed the finish line.
The men’s events will be:
- Ski half pipe in which each athlete will perform tricks in the half pipe. The judges will give their points according to the technical execution, amplitude, variety, difficulty, and the use of the pipe.
- Ski slope style where skiers combine airs and tricks on a 565 meters course featuring rails and a variety of jumps. They will be judged depending on execution, style, difficulty, variety, and progression.
- The snowboard slope style in which athletes will descend a 655 meters course consisting of rails and a variety of jumps, and they will have to combine big airs and technical tricks into one run.
- The snowboard parallel slalom in which riders will race two at a time down the same slope on two parallel courses outlined with gates and triangular flags.
As for the women, they will compete in the same events of the men’s (mentioned above), in addition to ski jumping. This will be the first time that women compete in ski jumping at the Winter Games.
Construction in Sochi have been going on for years. The Olympic infrastructure is being constructed according to a Federal Target Program (FTP). Each year, the city has been making significant progress. Millions of U.S dollars have been spent on construction and modernization of
Figure skater Yuna Kim impressed the public and the jury altogether with her astonishing performance at Vancouver 2010.
On 25 February 2010, at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum, the judges were so impressed with her performance that they gave the 19-years old the highest score ever given to a figure skater. She then became a national idol by winning the Republic of Korea’s first figure skating title in Olympic Games’ history. After her Olympic success in Vancouver she won silver at the Worlds in 2010 and 2011.
Her performance at Vancouver was one of the most stunning of the 2010 Winter Games and was rewarded with a total of 228.56 points. Yuna Kim’s record made it in the Guinness Book of Records.
Yuna Kim’s goal is to defend her Olympic title in February. She has all the chances to become the first woman since Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988 to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating titles.
Have you ever wondered what aerials champions do in the summer? No, they don’t get a vacation. The answer might amaze you: They train! Where?At the Yves LaRoche National Freestyle Skiing Centre in Quebec.
Even though freestyle aerials skiing is a winter sport, Canadians Olivier Rochon (winner of the 2011-2012 FIS World Cup) and Travis Gerrits (silver medallist at the 2013 World Championships in Voss) train mostly in the summer. They perform the same tricks that they do on snow, but they land in a swimming pool. Landing on water means less chances of injury and less impact on knees and back, allowing them to perfect their aerials tricks with less stress. Also dealing with no snow or wind conditions gives them the liberty to work on fine details that matter most.
This amazing building was designed by Michael Taylor, leader architectaccording to sustainability standards and with great care for the environment.
The building was designed to be efficient and cheap to run as well as to capture the essence of cycling into it.
Because he couldn’t affect altitude, Michael Taylor had to modify the conditions inside the building to make the racing track very fast.Choosing the right materials and designing the seats specifically close to the track in order to create a vibrant atmosphere were crucial for the benefit of spectators and cyclists alike. Seats were placed all way around so that all the cheering to encourage the athletes to race as fast as possible.
He succeeded in creating both the fastest cycling track ever built along with a great eco-friendly sports facility.
The Olympic Torch arrived at the board of ISS (International Space Station) with the help of the ‘Soyuz TMA’ team while the Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryazansky and Oleg Kotov were granted the honour to take the Olympic Torch for a spacewalk which lasted more than an hour. The Torch was not literally lit, due to the fact that in space combustion is impossible whereas strict safety regulations forbid open flames on board. The cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin was responsible to handle The Torch back to the representatives of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.
This was the first time in history when the Olympic Torch was carried out in open space. This unique journey was a part of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay.
The Sochi 2014 Organising Committee has announced the opening of the Main Media Centre for the 2014 Olympic Games
Located nearby the Olympic Park in Sochi, within walking distance of all venues of the Olympic Games, The Media Centre together with the media hotel is spread over an area of 20 hectares.
The Media Centre is a two-story facility and embodies equally the International Broadcasting Centre and the Main Press Centre. It is expected to greet the arrival of over 2,000 media representatives both international and Russian, and over 6,000 television and radio broadcasters.
A number of 500 workspaces for journalists and 100 for photographers are available inside the Centre, plus four halls for press conferences. The halls bear the names of famous Russian writers: Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. Also media members have access to a bank, post office, pharmacy, supermarket, laundry services, gym and food courts and a Sochi 2014 licensed store.
Furthermore on 24 January, the Gorki Media Centre will open his doors to receive approximately 500 press representatives and 4,000 television and radio broadcasters from around the world.
Four guys are pushing the sleight as fast as possible from the top of the hill and one by one they all get in. The driver Steven Holcomb gets in first, followed by Steve Langdon, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevics.
Steve Langdon, Olympic champion reveals the best formula for a triumphal run: experience! Knowing the tracks really well and anticipating beforehand is essential. There is no room for mistakes as they would be too hard to correct. In other words it’s not about reacting, it’s about anticipating!
The Olympic champion and his team will be fighting to maintain their titles in February at the Sanki sliding sport centre.
In 1994, Lillehammer was granted the privilege to be the host of the 1994 Olympic Games. Also known as the first ‘green’ Games, Lillehammer 1994 remains in history though it’smultiple legacies provided.
Its Organising Committee managed to transform the Games into a representative model of sustainability establishing ‘green objectives’ such as: to raise awareness on ecological issues, to protect the region’s environmental proprieties, to support sustainable growth and economic development, to fit the architecture to the topology of the landscape and more important to safeguard the environment throughout the Games.
During the Games there were started over 20 sustainability projects. Most important were related to energy-saving measures and recycling. Also the use of local materials and public transport was encouraged.
The legacy of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games is yet vivid, ensuring that the new environmental standards and sustainability projects will be a great concern for future organisers. Lillehammer Organising Committee received the UNEP Global 500 Award for this grand achievement.
The Sochi 2014 is going to have venues in two distinct ‘clusters’ with a total of 11 arenas:
Adler Arena, with a capacity of 8,000 seats, it’s a venue for speed skating. It has a crystal clear façade with angular walls and triangular stained-glass. High quality ice track to help the athletes perform exemplary.
Ice Cube Curling Centrefor curling, with a capacity of 3,000 seats, it is designed in a simplistic manner with smooth and rounded contours while its façade is brightly polished. It is meant to be the symbol of democracy and accessibility.
A venue for ice hockeyis Shayba Arena. Its circular exterior is an interesting mixture of blue and white swirling motifs. During construction a hockey puck was placed at the foundation. It has a capacity of 7,000 seats.
for ice hockey is the Bolshoi Ice Dome. It features an amazing design which resembles a frozen water droplet and has a total capacity of 12,000 seats.
Iceberg Skating Palaceit’s a venue for figure skating and short track speed skating with a 12,000 seats capacity. It is designed to suggest a figure skater’s trajectory when landing a triple toe loop.
At theFisht Olympic Stadium are going to take place the opening and closing events. It features a unique shell-like design which gives the venue an optical illusion of snowy peaks, with a total capacity of 40,000 seats.
RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre.The venue’s name is an association between the words: ‘Rus’, an abbreviation of Russia, and ‘Ski’. With a total capacity of 7500 seats it is a venue for ski jumping.
Rosa Khutor Extreme Park,which is located on the west of the Rosa Khutorplateau, will host snowboarding and freestyle skiing events. Its capacity: 4,000 seats for the Freestyle Skiing Centre and 6,250 seats for the Snowboard Park and theFreestyle Skiing Centre.
Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Centreit’s a venue for cross-country skiing and biathlon. His name comes from a mountain river which has a large number of waterfalls. This centre is remarkable as it features two different biathlon and cross-country stadiums, each with their own tracks and start and finish zones. Its capacity is 7,500 seats.
A Venue for alpine skiing isRosa Khutor Alpine Centre located at an approximate distance of outside Sochi. Bernhard Russi, a famous ski architect and Olympic champion, designed the competition tracks with a total length of. Its capacity: 7,500 seats
Sanki Sliding Centre, a venue for bobsleigh, skeleton and luge with a 5,000 seats capacity. Ithas been built at the Alpika Service Mountain Ski Resort, with its track finishing area at RzhanayaPolyana.
A usual presence on the World cup, Olympic podiums and world championship it seems certain that Svindal will be among the medals at this year’s Games.
The Norwegian has already collected an impressive number of eight world championship medals including five golds: downhill in 2007 and 2013, giant slalom in 2007, combined in 2009 and 2011andthree Olympic medals: gold in the super-G title, silver in downhill and bronze in giant slalom.Moreover Svindal won the 2007 and 2009 FIS World Cup titles receiving seven crystal globes in super-G, giant slalom, downhill and the combined.
A speed specialist in the first instance then a powerful rival in giant slalom and in the combined, it is expected that he should be on top of the Olympic podium once more.
Kungur it’s the 100th Russian city which had the honour to be visited by the Olympic Torch, as part of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. Located in Russia’s Perm region, Kungur welcomed the Olympic Torch on day 89 of the 123 day relay.
As part of this special celebration, The Torch arose high in the skies with the support of a hot air balloondecorated in the ‘patchwork quilt’ brand of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Just a few days earlier, Kazan, the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan celebrated the New Year’s Eve along with the Olympic Torch Relay.The Flame’s journey continues next with Nizhny Novgorod, the fifth-largest city in Russia.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay route is thought to grant the chance of over 90 per cents of Russians to join the ceremony. The journey will proceed across the country until The Olympic Torch arrives at the Opening Ceremony of Sochi 2014 Olympic Games on 7 February 2014.