November 21 - The International Ski Federation (FIS) has revealed its 1,250-metre long course design for the ski and snowboard cross competitions at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Located in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the course has been designed over the last four years to feature eight turn sections, a series of jumps and roller sections, and a 210m vertical drop.
Although both skiers and snowboarders will share the same start and finish areas, as well as about 80 per cent of the cross course sections, the design does feature one area where it splits into two to target each discipline's specific skills.
The course already hosted the FIS Freestyle World Cup in February this year, which was followed by the Snowboard World Cup a month later, and received "overwhelmingly positive feedback" from the athletes who tested it out.
Olympian Martin Fiala, who competed for Germany in ski cross at Vancouver 2010, helped to create the course alongside ski and snowboard experts.
"The Olympic programme always provides some extra special characteristics from our World Cups and World Championships courses," Fiala explained.
"The cross course in Rosa Khutor challenges all skills from both snowboarding and skiing.
"I would like to thank all involved from the Rosa Khutor ski area, National Ski Associations, from the Organising Committee and also to the course designers and the course builders for their hard pre-work on the road to the competitions and wish all the teams and athletes a safe, successful and exciting Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 for what could become a true highlight of the programme."
Snowboard cross was introduced at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics, while ski cross was successfully introduced at Vancouver 2010.
Sochi 2014 gets underway on February 7, with snowboard cross events starting on February 16 and ski cross on February 20.
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