The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic ski runs are the best in the world, the site’s chief executive claimed Thursday.
The Rosa Khutor ski resort is gearing up for the first serious test events next month with World Cup alpine skiing stages, and the organizers have made late changes to the courses to increase the difficulty, Sergei Bachin said.
“We’re happy that we’re working with the distinguished designer and athlete Bernhard Russi, who has, in fact, allowed us to create courses in Russia that are even better than anywhere else in the world,” Bachin said.
Russi, who won gold in downhill at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan, has designed all Olympic downhill courses since 1988, and is the piste architect for the International Ski Federation.
Bachin said that the organizers had added a 400 meter section with several bends to the women’s downhill course, and moved the start back by 20 meters to make the test events more challenging.
“The artificial snow system we installed on all runs at the resort this year allows us to cover all our competition runs, and prepare for competitions even with seven or eight nights without snow in sub-zero temperatures. But this year we have, in general, a lot of natural snow.”
Rosa Khutor’s facilities had been improved, with separate areas for athletes and officials ready for use, Bachin said.
There was still some way to go until the site could handle the number of spectators expected for the Olympics, he added, but this would be possible when the last of the ski lifts are installed next year.
The first test events took place at Roza Khutor last year with the second-tier Europa Cup in alpine skiing. This year the FIS World Cup stages are February 8-12 for the men and a week later for the women.