Warm weather in Sochi is melting the ice

Sochi, Russia, is located on the Black Sea and has a subtropical climate.
Posted By Aileen Graef  |  Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The 2014 Sochi Games could be the warmest Winter Olympics in history, and it is causing the ice and snow to melt, making the courses hard to maintain.

Due to the climate, the resort town of Sochi has temperatures around 50 degrees in February. On Monday, the high was 61 degrees. These high temperatures are making Sochi organizers scramble to keep the ice from melting for the games. In the "mountain cluster," 40 miles away from the Olympic village, organizers have been forced to cancel some training runs and shift the others from day to night.

American Bill Demong said, "It’s not even slushy -- it’s mushy, and it’s very hard to ski on. There’s no structure to the snow, and the person who can float the best wins.” Skiing is not the only sport taking a hit from the conditions. Czech luger Lukas Broz is feeling it too, "The weather is bad. It needs to be colder [because] we don’t have the right blades for this weather."

Outdoor competitors are not the only ones suffering; the indoor facilities are getting slushy too. At one point, a worker in the Iceberg Skating Palace had to use a fire extinguisher to patch up a particularly slushy spot.

U.S. Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick said, “I [feel like having] a margarita, chips and salsa. But that will have to wait until after competition.”

[Washington Post]

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