Mountain village gets thumbs up from athletes

Tue Feb 4, 2014 12:09pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Russian Alpine skier Elena Yakovishina was busy killing zombies in the Olympic athletes' Mountain Village on Tuesday.

Her accuracy was excellent - a fact highlighted by the impressive score lit up in front of her as red-eyed ghouls stumbled relentlessly out of 'The House of the Dead' and into her sights.

"I think we've been here about an hour already," laughed her American physio, Park City-based Katie Guyer, as the athlete took aim and fired another hail of electronic bullets at the screen in the games room.

Elsewhere, Austrians were riding Superbike simulators while American athletes waited to race fast cars around the mean streets of another virtual world or challenge kickboxing villains on screen.

In one of the most secure locations on earth, a high-security village inside a 'ring of steel' surrounding Sochi where tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are on high alert for possible terror attacks, the sight of athletes chilling out with video violence provided an ironic twist.

It was not the only surprise, with reporters given free access for a few hours on Tuesday to roam the facilities that will house nearly 3,000 of the world's elite athletes when all have arrived.

The Polyclinic, which has already had to deal with at least one snowboarder's broken collarbone, has a rock climbing wall extending up the front of it.

Heavy trucks filled with rubble occasionally thunder through, and there is dust in the crisp mountain air as preparations are completed.   Continued...

Austrian alpine skiers Georg Streitberger, Klaus Kroell, Max Franz, Joachim Puchner and Romed Baumann (L-R) pose for a photograph in the Olympic rings at the Olympic athletes mountain village in Rosa Khutor near Sochi, February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach