Killy happy with progress for 2014 Sochi Games

Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:08am EST
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By Gennady Fyodorov

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (Reuters) - Three meters of fresh snow disrupted Sochi's plans to run the first test events for the 2014 Winter Olympics this week but former Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy still gave the Russian resort a pat on the back.

"I have to be fully satisfied with what I've seen," said the Frenchman, who chairs the International Olympic Committee (IOC) coordination commission for the Sochi Games, when he visited the resort this week.

"I don't know if there ever was an Alpine event that was not affected by the weather in some way, whether it's held at Val d'Isere, Kitzbuehel, St Moritz or anywhere else in the world."

A men's Europa Cup downhill had to be postponed for 24 hours and a super-G race was canceled because of the heavy snow, but the disruption did little to diminish the enthusiasm of the athletes, officials and fans.

"We had three meters of fresh snow that hit the area in the last few days," said Markus Waldner, the race director for the International Ski Federation (FIS) responsible for the Europa Cup. "It was crazy."

Killy, however, was quick to point out that Sochi's overall plans were going well.

"We've come here almost every month and the progress we've seen is unbelievable," he told a small group of reporters at a luxury hotel in Krasnaya Polyana, a ski resort that will host all the outdoor Olympic events in 2014.


<p>Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin share a ride on a chairlift during their visit to the Krasnaya Polyana resort near the southern Russia city of Sochi February 18, 2011. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool</p>