Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic ice track set for first test
Friday, 02 November 2012
November 2 - The Sliding Centre Sanki, which will host the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, is set to face its first test as athletes from 25 nations use the venue for an international training week.
The venue, which is located around 60 kilometres north of Sochi, is a purpose-built, artificially refrigerated track that has been constructed 1,215 metres above sea level.
Particular attention has been given to ensure the safety of the track following the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
During his final training run at the Whistler Sliding Centre, the luge venue for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Kumaritashvili suffered a fatal crash on the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
The accident saw the International Luge Federation (FIL) dramatically tighten its safety regulations on tracks.
Nevertheless, the FIL it has approved the Sochi 2014 venue, with athletes that train at the venue from next Monday (November 5) set to start at a lower height so they get to know the track from the bottom up.
"The athletes will be slowly introduced, step by step, to the new track," FIL sport coordinator Marie-Luise Rainer said.
The track will have permanent seating of 500, temporary seating of 500 and a standing room crowd of 5,000 during the Winter Olympics.
It will have 19 curves for bobsleigh and skeleton, 20 turns for men's singles luge and 17 turns for women's singles and men's doubles luge.
Despite the training session this month, the official test event for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will be the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT) World Cup in February next year.
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April 2012: Exclusive - Sochi 2014 under pressure over training access to venues
March 2012: Sochi 2014 bobsleigh track ready for international certification, says FIBT President Ferriani
April 2010: Sochi promise to take no risks over luge track for 2014 Olympics