By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
May 3 - Sochi plans to stockpile tonnes of snow in the build-up to the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics to ensure that they avoid some of the problems that overshadowed the Games in Vancouver earlier this year, the event's main official, Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured), promised.
"For the first time in 126 years there was summer during the Winter Games," the chief executive and President of Sochi 2014 joked while referring to the lack of snow in Canada due to the climate change.
"We have learnt from what happened in Vancouver this year and we have ensured we have a Plan B in place during the course of the Winter Games.
"We've learnt a lot from the situations that affected Vancouver.
"These are serious issues for the world at large, but we have placed a Plan B and that includes storing considerable amounts of snow at least a year in advance should we be faced with a similar situation as Vancouver did this year.
"We will also protect the slopes and manage the venue in a better way in a lead up to the Games."
Chernyshenko claimed that Sochi hope to have the majority of their venues completed and ready for testing by the end of 2012, a massive undertaking as the Black Sea resort must create 235 sport and related infrastructure facilities, as well as get credible public transport running and backed by reliable electricity before the Games open.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have continually praised Sochi's preparations but again warned that they must not allow the pace to slack.
Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Games Executive Director, said: “We are happy to see the progress...mainly in the field of construction.
"But this project is a huge project.
"The timing is always something we are scrutinising very carefully.
"We are happy with the deadlines but there is still a lot to do."
Felli has also warned organisers that they must move more staff from Moscow to Sochi "to be hands-on on the preparations".
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