On December 7, stages of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup will begin at the "RusSki Gorki" Jumping Center in Sochi. This event is going to be the first tournament when the Sochi's K-95 ski-jump will be fully put to the test. Organized by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, the Russian Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Federation and the Russian Ski Association under the aegis of the International Ski Federation, the upcoming stages of the World Cup are going to attract leading athletes from 19 countries, and will be the first international competitions at this level to take place in Russia.
The test events are going to take place in weather conditions unusual for December in Sochi. These include high temperatures and rainfall. In order to make sure the weather does not affect these events, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has used 4,600 cubic meters of snow on the ski jump, which it stored away last year in a special snow reservoir. This program stipulates that natural and artificial snow is to be saved up during the winter seasons preceding the Games, stored using special technology, and transported to the venues if more snow is required.
These stages of the World Cup will be the first international events that the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee is managing to provide ski jump athletes from all over the world the chance to put the K-95 Olympic ski jump through its paces. The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup will also be the first time women will take part in the Ski jumping events. The Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be the most equal in terms of gender participation in the entire history of the Winter Games. Given the introduction of new Olympic disciplines including women's ski jumping, a record number of women are going to be competing at the Games – approximately 1200.
Athletes will be provided with a person to meet and greet them, transport, catering, network connection and weather information. These will be coordinated by the Test events management center, located in Krasnaya Polyana. Its staff includes members of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, representatives of OJSC "Krasnaya Polyana", Krasnodar Region Administration and Sochi Administration. Experts in medicine, transport and security will also be on hand to provide assistance. The way in which the event has been organized will ensure all the various bodies that will help deliver the event at Sochi 2014 test working together and ensure they work cohesively.
Over 450 staff from the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and 200 volunteers will be involved in providing these services at the event.
The world’s best female and male athletes will be taking part in the ski jumping test events on the K-95 ski jump as part of the FIS World Cup. Among them will be: the Olympic champions Simon Ammann of Switzerland, Thomas Morgenstern and Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria, and some well-known Russian athletes, including Dimitry Vassiliev, many times medalist of the World Cup stages. American athlete Sarah Hendrickson, World Cup winner in 2011-2012; Daniela Iraschko from Austria, who has won several stages of the World Cup before; and Japan's Sara Takanashi will be representing the ladies.
On 7 December, the competitors will take part in official training sessions, and take part in qualifications ahead of their participation in the two official stages of the World Cup on December 8 and 9.
Chika Yoshida, FIS race director for women's ski jumping:
"This is going to be the first time that women's ski jumping is included in the program at the Olympic Winter Games. This will be the first time these athletes will try out the K-95 Olympic ski jump. We value the efforts made by the organizers to ensure the venue is ready to host competitions. We are convinced that the enthusiasm and professionalism shown by all the staff at the "RusSki Gorki" Jumping Center is going to help us bring in a new era in ski jumping – both in the women's events and the men's events.
Notes to the editor
The "RusSki Gorki" Jumping Center is situated on the northern slope of the Aibga Ridge, right next to the Esto-Sadok railway station. The complex consists of the ultra-modern Olympic K-95 and K-125 ski jumps. The site for the complex, at the juncture of two ridges, was specially chosen by international experts, so that the ski jumps would be in keeping with the surrounding landscape, and so that the jumpers would be afforded protection against gusting side-winds. The first competitive events at the venue took place in February 2012.