Temperatures rise, but Sochi organisers keep cool
SOCHI, Russia - Agence France-Presse
France's Antoine Adelisse competes in the men's ski slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP PhotoThe organisers of the Sochi Winter Olympics Thursday played down concerns that spring-like temperatures could harm the Games, saying every event was on schedule and a strong contingency plan was in place.
The Russian organisers have stockpiled vast amounts of snow from last season but Sochi 2014 spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina said there had been no need to call on these reserves so far during the Games themselves.
"We have a strong contingency plan in place but we have not used the stored snow since the beginning of the Games," she said, adding some of the stores had been used in the preparations.
Competitors and visitors were Thursday enjoying the balmy temperatures, strolling around in sun-glasses and T-shirts, in scenes more resembling a summer holiday than a Winter Olympics.
Temperatures Thursday rose as high as 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit) at sea level where the stadium events are held but this should have no effect on the indoor competition.
But even at the Rosa Khutor centre where the alpine events are taking place, temperatures were as high as 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures were only slightly slower at the Laura centre where the cross country events are held.
International Olympics Committee spokesman Mark Adams said all events were taking place on schedule and there was no reason for alarm.
"For the time being -- and it is always a constant battle with winter sports -- we are relaxed but watch the situation," he said.
"There is plenty of snow already in place, it snowed a lot over the New Year and it is packed in hard. So I don't think that will be an issue."