From Coast to Mountains, A Look Inside Sochi’s Olympic Venues
The 2014 Olympics are underway in Sochi, Russia; the first Winter Games to be held in the country. A number of modern Olympic venues were constructed as part the coastal resort town’s bid to host the Games, with the vast majority opening between 2012 and 2013. Between Sochi’s Coastal Cluster venues —including Olympic Park — stretching along the Black Sea and the Mountain Cluster venues located 40 km away in Krasnaya Polyana, 11 venues are hosting this year’s Games.
Adler Arena Skating Center
Opened in 2012, Adler Arena is located in the center of Sochi’s Olympic Park. The 8,000-seat facility includes two competition tracks and one training track.
Bolshoy Ice Dome
Also opened in 2012, Bolshoy Ice Dome is a multipurpose facility holding 12,000 spectators. One of three Olympic venues constructed for ice hockey, it is a permanent venue located close to a training rink and the temporary Shayba Arena.
Fisht Olympic Stadium
Opening and Closing Ceremonies
The centerpiece of Sochi’s Olympic Park, Fisht Olympic Stadium opened in 2013 and hosted the Games’ Opening Ceremony. The 40,000-seat structure features a translucent polycarbonate roof, giving the venue a “snowy peak” façade intended to blend into the mountainous landscape. After the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games conclude, the venue will be used for Russian football matches.
Ice Cube Curling Center
Host to one of the Winter Games most popular events, the 3,000-seat Ice Cube Curling Center is a temporary structure that currently sits in Sochi’s Olympic Park. After the Games, it can be dismantled and moved throughout the country for future curling events.
Iceberg Skating Palace
Figure Skating, Short Track
Located within Olympic Park, Iceberg Skating Palace is another non-permanent structure in use as an Olympic venue. The skating center, which opened in 2012 and seats 12,000, can also be transported upon completion of the Games.
Part of an ice-hockey complex that includes the Bolshoy Ice Dome and a training rink, Shayba Arena opened for competition last year. The 7,000-seat temporary structure is named for the Russian word for puck and the base for a popular Russian phrase (shaybu) often used for supporting hockey teams.
Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center
Biathlon, Cross Country
Located on the Psekhako Ridge, the center comprises two separate venues for skiing and biathlon — each with its own start and finish zones, track systems, and warm-up zones — as well as a shooting area for biathlon. The center opened in 2013 and can accommodate 7,500 spectators.
Rosa Khutor Alpine Center
Part of the Rosa Khutor ski resort located on the Aibga Ridge, the Alpine Center opened in 2011 and hosts the various Alpine Skiing events: downhill, combined (downhill and slalom), giant slalom, and super giant slalom. In total, the Alpine Center features 20 km of competition tracks and hosted several major international competitions prior to the 2014 Olympics.
Rosa Khutor Extreme Park
Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding
Completed in 2012, Sochi’s permanent freestyle skiing and snowboarding venue accommodates 4,000 spectators and features specialized tracks for cross-country skiing, aerial, mogul, boardercross, parallel giant slalom, and half-pipe events.
RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center
Nordic Combined, Ski Jumping
Located on the Aibga Ridge, the Jumping Center features Olympic K-95 and K-125 ski jumps (K-95 and K-125 refer to points on the hill — 95 m and 125 m, respectively — that jumpers much reach in order to receive points). The venue opened in 2012 with capacity for 7,500 spectators.
Sliding Center Sanki
Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton
Located approximately 60 km northeast of Sochi in Western Caucasus, the Sliding Center is part of the Alpika Service Mountain Ski Resort. The venue includes a 1,365-m track for bobsleigh, skeleton, and men’s singles luge and a 1,325-m track for women’s singles luge and men’s doubles luge. With a combination of permanent seating, temporary seating, and standing-room areas, the venue can accommodate approximately 10,000 spectators.
Photo credit: Carrie Bowden