Olympic Ice Tested in Sochi after 100 Days of Preparations

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The rink of the new "Iceberg" Skating Palace was opened for test skating after 100 days of preparations. Students of the winter sports school in Sochi, the Olympic champion and Sochi 2014 Ambassador, Tatyana Navka have had the first chance to test the new ice rink. The first test events - the Grand prix figure skating final - will take place at “Iceberg” in December 2012 and in February 2014 the venue will host Olympic competitions in figure skating and short track.

Olympic Ice Tested in Sochi

Olympic Ice Tested in Sochi

It was a special feeling, going out on the Olympic ice for the first time. In less than two years, I hope to see Russian figure skaters win not one gold medal on this ice

The rink of the new "Iceberg" Skating Palace was opened for test skating after 100 days of preparations. Students of the winter sports school in Sochi, the Olympic champion and Sochi 2014 Ambassador, Tatyana Navka have had the first chance to test the new ice rink. The first test events - the Grand prix figure skating final - will take place at “Iceberg” in December 2012 and in February 2014 the venue will host Olympic competitions in figure skating and short track.

The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and State Corporation for Olympic constructions “Olympstroy” were the organizers of the master-class.

It took several days to prepare the Olympic ice rink in Sochi. Firstly, the cooling equipment was configured. Cooling machines reduced the temperature of the cooling agent to minus 9-14 °C. The cold liquid, which does not freeze or crystallize, began to circulate in the pipes and mounted on concrete slabs. The overall length of the pipes is over 20 kilometers.

The cold concrete surfaces of the rink were covered with water from hosepipes. Over some hours, the ice was frozen with several thin layers. The "ground ice" with a thickness of 1.5-2 centimeters was decorated with white paint, and then another 3 centimeters of ice were added on the top. The overall thickness of the ice surface totaled 4-5 centimeters. The ice was then finished by hand and the surfaces were given an even and consistent shape.

In order to control the condition of the ice, special detectors were installed which record any change in temperature at separate parts of the rink. Overall, approximately 100 days were needed for the configuration and testing of the rinks. Most of the time was spent in installing engineering slabs for the freezing of the ice. These consisted of multi-layered ice cakes made from various materials, including pipes and high density frost resistant concrete. The concrete is able to withstand 200 freezing-unfreezing cycles. Taking into account the fact that the rinks are frozen once a year, the concrete will last a minimum of 200 years.

The Sochi 2014 Ambassador, Olympic champion Tatyana Navka commented:

“It was a special feeling, going out on the Olympic ice for the first time. In less than two years, I hope to see Russian figure skaters win not one gold medal on this ice. My task is to do everything I can to ensure the rebirth of sport in Russia, to encourage everyone to become more involved in sport, especially disadvantaged children from across Russia. It was great to see the students of the Winter Sports School in Sochi on the “Iceberg” ice today, and I hope they will fulfill their potential”.

Tests of the first Olympic ice, under the leadership of Tatyana Navka, were carried out by approximately 700 students. The school, founded in December 2010, offers 14 Winter Olympic sports disciplines, including bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, hockey, figure skating, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding and curling. In total, there are 34 teacher trainers working at the school. The school’s success is reflected in its results and it will become an important part of the Sochi 2014 legacy. Two female students have already been accepted in the Russian bobsleigh team.

General Partner of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Bosco Sport, provided the uniform for the lessons.

Notes to the editor

The "Iceberg" Skating Palace is designed for the staging of competitions in figure skating and short track. It has a capacity of 12,000 spectators and will be the venue for the first test events - the figure skating Grand Prix final, taking place in December 2012, and the Short Track World Cup Stage in February 2013.

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