Press-Republican

Thursday

February 6, 2014

Olympians safely in Sochi

LAKE PLACID — Local athletes and their support personnel have arrived safely in Sochi.

Based in Lake Placid, USA Luge made the journey in four flights, landing under clear blue skies.

“The travel here was perfect,” USA Luge spokesman Caligiore said early Wednesday via email from Sochi. “Four flights either on time or early.”

Many Sochi volunteers met the Olympic contingent in Moscow and Sochi, he said.

“They struck me as hardworking, friendly and very helpful. So we’re off on the right foot in that sense.” 

Only six of nine hotels for media are open, Caligiore said. 

“There were five of us that are in a different hotel than what we thought, but at least it’s in the same area. So it’s not a big deal. 

“But construction never stops in the effort to finish everything.”

OPENING CEREMONIES

The Winter Games officially begin on Friday with opening ceremonies. 

Saranac Lake Luger Chris Mazdzer starts racing on Saturday. 

Women’s events, which will bring Lake Placid resident Erin Hamlin to the ice, start on Monday, Feb. 10. And doubles competition with Jayson Terdiman starts on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

They will be competing at the Sanki Olympic Sliding Center in Rzhanaya Polyana among ski and outdoor sport venues 37 miles north of Sochi.

‘THUMBS-UP’

With perfect conditions, practice runs on the Sanki track went well, Caligiore said.

“Sunny and clear with crisp air; temps in the mid 30s, the ice at the Sanki Sliding Center was fast and flawless for (Tuesday’s) training runs. Our team gave it a big thumbs-up,” he said.

“This is in marked contrast to previous trips here, when the weather was warm and humid, leading to softer ice. Today’s ice was real, and we hope it remains this way for our races.”

‘GOOD-LUCK BEACON’

Caligiore described the mountain venues as clustered together “close as the crow flies,” providing ease of access.

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