Sochi 2014: Olympic education and ice skating test event off and running
Sports Features Communications
October 5 - The Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee this week announced a national Olympics educational effort and the first event at the skating venue for the Games.
The “Marathon of Olympic Knowledge” educational program was started Sept. 1 to mark National Teacher’s Day in Russia.
The event was sponsored by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and more than 100,000 Olympic lessons were taught by more than 100,000 teachers to more than four million school children across the county. Partners of Sochi 2014 as well as volunteers with the Organizing Committee assisted. The theme for the event was “London 2012 – Sochi 2014” and it was also broadcast online.
Alexander Mikhailin, a judoist and silver medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, helped with the final lesson at the Moscow Center of Education No. 548 Tsaritsyno. The lesson was taught by Alexander Zhukov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Russian officials said the mission of "Sochi 2014" Olympic education effort will continue even after the 2012 Games take place as a legacy program. The Organizing Committee and ROC plan to expand the instructional effort between now and the Games.
Relying on the help of regional Olympic councils with physical educational and sports authorities, a distance education program was begun in September. Classes will cover 83 subjects and by then time the 2013 Games are over, will cover the entire country.
Iceberg Skating Palace hosts inaugural test event
Russian ice skaters will be the first athletes to see action on the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Sochi Olympic Park as the Federation Cup for figure skating will be held there on Oct. 6.
World champion figure skating team Yuko Kawaguti and Alexander Smirnov and solo skater Artur Gachinski are expected to compete at the Federation Cup.
The Federal Cup is being heralded as an opportunity for the companies involved in the venue construction to test the ice before Olympic competitions. Leading Russian ice makers from across the country who have experience on major rinks have also visited and worked on Iceberg Skating Palace.
Building The Rink
Building the layers of ice began Sept. 25, exactly 500 days before the Olympic Games begin in Sochi. Special detectors were installed to record temperature changes in the ice. Ice needs to be between -4 and -5 degrees Centigrade for figure skaters. This is “soft” ice and allows the performers to execute intricate moves on the ice.
The sensors feed information to other automatic devices which control the ice temperature and the climate within the ice zone.
The first check of the rink and the equipment was done in May 2012 with a freezing test of the chilling systems. Students of the Sochi Winter Sports School and Olympic champion in ice dancing Tatyana Navka skated on the test ice. Navak is a Sochi 2014 Ambassador.
Navka said, "I was very pleased with both the design of the stadium and the quality of the ice. The Olympic Park really makes a lasting impression, all venues are very unusual and beautiful, and everything is so close and in a beautiful location by the sea.
"I haven't seen an Olympic Park like it, and I'm sure it will make a strong impression on the guests to the Sochi Olympics in 2014."
In addition to being the first competition for the rink, the Iceberg Skating Palace is the first sporting event in the Coastal Cluster, the venue for awarding Olympic medals after the figure skating and short track events of 2014.
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