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Snow Lover’s Trivia: Olympic Winter Games making Russian debut

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The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be the first time that the Russian Federation will host the Winter Games, the Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.

The host city Sochi has a population of 400,000 people and is situated in Krasnodar, which is the third largest region in Russia.

The Games will be organized in two clusters: events on the coast in Sochi, and events in the mountains located in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains. This will make it one of the most compact Games ever, with only 30 minutes travel time between the coast and the mountains.

The Sochi Olympic Park is built along the Black Sea coast in the Imeretinskaya Valley. There we find the ice venues; such as, The Bolshoi Ice Palace, The Maly Ice Palace, The Olympic Oval, The Sochi Olympic Skating Center, The Olympic Curling Center, The Central Stadium, The Main Olympic Village and The International Broadcast Center and The Main Press Center. The Park ensures a very compact concept with an average distance of 3.5 miles between the Olympic Village and the other coastal venues.

The Krasnaya Polyana Mountains will be home to all the skiing and sliding sports. The mountain concept is again a very compact with only an average distance of 2.5 miles between the mountain sub-village and the venues.

In the mountains two-time and reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, Shaun White, continues to innovate as he prepares to defend his title in Sochi, where the American will also go for gold in another of his favorite snowboard events, slopestyle.

Slopestyle is set to make a spectacular double debut at the Sochi Olympics Games on skis and snowboard, and young Australian freestyler Russell Henshaw will be looking to out-trick everyone on skis when this new event takes center stage at the Olympic Terrain Park and soar to gold.

Gearing up for the Olympics, French skier Alexis Pinturault was this past weekend’s alpine star in Kitzbuehel (AUT), showing great consistency over super-G and night slalom events to win the Hahnenkamm Combined event.

Pinturault had finished 18th in a tightly-contested super-G, just 0.69 seconds off winner Didier Defago, and improved on this in Sunday evening’s slalom run to post a winning time of 2:02.79. It was enough to edge him 0.44 seconds ahead of the USA’s Ted Ligety, who produced an equally impressive slalom to move from 31st to second in the weekend’s standings. Pinturault had an anxious wait to see whether his slalom had secured top spot.

“It was big fight with Ted today!” he said.

Defago’s super-G win upset the form book. The veteran Swiss still competing at 36, was a gold medalist in the downhill at Vancouver 2010 but had not earned a super-G podium since 2008. He beat Bode Miller (USA) by just 0.05 seconds in what was a shortened race due to adverse weather – and gained his first victory since the Bormio downhill event in 2011.

Marcel Hirscher (AUT) was another who managed to transform his fortunes in the second part of the combined challenge. The Austrian stood 56th after the super-G, but finished 3rd overall thanks to a fine slalom run.

There’s gold to get in the Sochi Mountains. Who will bring it home?

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