SOCHI, October 8 (RIA Novosti)
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The figure skating arena for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is a top-class venue with excellent ice, European silver medalist Artur Gachinsky has said.
Gachinsky visited the venue for its first test event, the Federation Cup, a domestic warm-up for the Iceberg arena’s international unveiling at the Grand Prix finals in December.
“The conditions are absolutely brilliant,” Gachinsky said Saturday.
“The changing rooms are comfortable, the ice isn’t tough or soft.”
“All the conditions have been created for the athletes, the coaches and the judges, to be comfortable for them.”
Peter Krick, the chairman of the International Skating Union’s sports directorate, said there was “still a lot to be done” to prepare the Iceberg for the Grand Prix finals, but that Sochi was making good progress.
“In the two remaining months, it should be done. There should be no doubts about that,” said Krick, a three-time German national champion in the 1960s.
The fourth and fifth floors of the Iceberg needed further work and the area around the arena needs more landscaping, Krick added.
The first winner at the Iceberg was the 16-year-old Nicole Gosviyani, who won the women’s singles against a field containing several of Russia’s most promising young skaters, including Finlandia Trophy winner Sofia Biryukova.
Winning the Federation Cup was a “stimulus” to improve, Gosviyani said.
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