International Ice Hockey Federation

Full speed ahead for Sochi

Full speed ahead for Sochi

U18s among record number of Winter Games test events

Published 09.04.2013 03:19 GMT+4 | Author Adam Steiss
Full speed ahead for Sochi
The Bolshoy Ice Dome and the nearby Shayba Arena in Sochi are waiting for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship as the first big test before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Photo: Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti
During the 2012-2013 season, more than 20 international test events in all 15 Olympic disciplines and 5 Paralympic sports in the Sochi 2014 Sports Program will take place in Sochi.

The sheer scale of the test event period, one comparable to the staging of two Olympic Games, is larger than any previous Winter Games in history.

For ice hockey, the final test event for Sochi 2014 will be the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, taking place from 18 to the 28 April at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and Shayba Arena.

An earlier inspection by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission to Sochi went on in October, with Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy praising the local organisers of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games for the notable progress they have made in preparations, just weeks before the start of the key test season.

IIHF President and IOC Executive Committee member René Fasel was among the visitors.

“From ice hockey’s standpoint I couldn’t be more than satisfied,” said Fasel. “Both the big arena, the Bolshoy, and the Shayba, the smaller one, are well on schedule and we are really excited to be able to test the venues for the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in April.”

With over 20 Sochi 2014-organised test events scheduled over the course of the winter, the venues and other Games infrastructure have been put to trial with no serious issues reported.

Sochi 2014 President Dmitry Chernyshenko highlighted that the lessons learnt during London 2012, as part of the IOC Observer Programme, have also helped his team fine-tune their operational readiness preparations ahead of the Games.

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The Commission reviewed all aspects of preparations for the different client groups, including athletes, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, spectators, the Paralympic Games and the media. Having conducted a detailed examination of Sochi 2014’s operational plans, the Commission said it was confident the organisers were firmly on schedule to deliver top-quality Games for all stakeholders in 2014.

President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko noted:

“We are currently focused on delivering the most robust test event schedule in the history of the Winter Games, with forty-seven different test events this season alone to check the venues and surrounding infrastructure to ensure we’re hundred per cent prepared.”

“We are already making great steps, having held the Federation Cup figure skating tournament at the Iceberg Skating Palace. Located in the Sochi Olympic Park, the event was the first test in the coastal cluster, and the venue attracted high levels of praise from the athletes competing.”

The Park is home to the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Bolshoy Ice Dome, Iceberg Skating Palace, Shayba Arena, Ice Cube Curling Centre and Adler Arena, which form the “coastal cluster” of Games venues.

Sochi 2014 will also be the first time in Olympic history that all the ice venues are within walking distance of one another, creating a centralised Olympic Park. The Park will also house the Main Olympic Village, the International Broadcasting Centre and the Main Press Centre.

The Commission also congratulated Sochi 2014 on its plans for the Olympic Torch Relay, details of which were announced on 7 October. Beginning in Moscow October 7, 2013, and arriving in Sochi, February 7, 2014, it will be the longest relay in Olympic history.

The ambitious route will pass within an hour of 90 per cent of the Russian population during its record 65,000-kilometre journey, increasing interest in the Games ahead of the Opening Ceremony, which will be held in fewer than 500 days.

The figures presented during Sochi’s volunteer update were no less impressive. Twenty-six volunteer “hubs” located around the country have received almost 120,000 applications so far, including around 4,000 from abroad.

IOC Media Relations, with files from IIHF Communications


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