Warm Sochi weather keeps snow soft, athletes suntanning

While Bode Miller complained, others took advantage of the warm Sochi weather by swimming and sunbathing.
By Brooks Hays  |  Feb. 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Unseasonably warm weather has been one of the many talking points so far at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Officials at the Winter Games have continually brushed aside complaints and concerns, saying they have everything under control. But athletes have made light of the unusual weather, posting photos to Instagram and Twitter of themselves and fellow Olympians sporting shorts and tank tops.

One athlete was spotted by Hayley Wickenheiser -- goalie for the Canadian women's hockey team -- donning a Speedo and getting ready for a dip in the Black Sea.

Hockey's indoor rink is unaffected by outdoor conditions; skiers aren't so lucky. Bode Miller said he was concerned the warm weather could make for "unfair" racing conditions. Racers who take their runs later in the day could face wetter, slower snow.

"If by the luck of the draw you draw (bib number) 5, you're running 45 minutes to an hour before somebody who's ranked two points behind you who draws 29," Miller told USA Today. "In these conditions, the course really changes a lot in an hour."

At least one skier was taking the weather in stride. Former U.S. mogul skier and gold medal winner Johnny Mosley came upon a sunbather at the top of one of Sochi's snowy peaks.

"Yes, we do have warm days," Aleksandra Kosterina, a spokeswoman for the organizing committee, admitted to the Los Angeles Times. "At the same time, we do have strong contingency plans in place."

Snow is expected to fall on the Sochi slopes later in the week.

[Los Angeles Times] [USA Today]

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