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Sochi 2014

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  • Sochi 2014

    I was wondering if there was snow at the venue given the Olympics begin soon. I think Putin is keeping the reins tight in this info or something, I can't find too much. But found these:

    From today....

    This was a few weeks ago....
    With it now less than a month away from the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the weather pattern in the coming weeks will bring colder air to the area.

    It will be interesting to see how the US Nordic Team does this year. They have been on an impressive comeback for the past several years. It would be great to see some skinny skiers take some podiums.

    Who else is worth watching?

  • #2
    I'm excited about Ice Dancing.

    Ski jumping is my favorite event with all that huge air and telemark landings . Freeheel extreme.
    Last edited by Valdez Telehead; 2 February 2014, 07:44 PM.


    • #3
      I'm looking forward to the indepth report on the guy who grew up in boondockstan sliding rocks across a frozen lake to rebuild his family's ancient goat farm and is now an Olympic ice curler. That, and the short track.


      • #4
        [QUOTE=bergbryce;9335]I was wondering if there was snow at the venue given the Olympics begin soon. I think Putin is keeping the reins tight in this info or something, I can't find too much.

        Clearly from this image in this article from yesterday, there is snow... who knows how much, but there is snow:

        More importantly is this bit of telegenic information:


        • #5
          I'd say the majority of show there is man-made. This is a bad snow year for Caucasus - there's only around 25cm fresh in Gudauri now, and no base coverage mostly (so you will shot the core), unless you're at 3000m+.

          Russian hypocrites are as always: trying to start civil war in Ukraine and - at the same time - "preparing" for peaceful olympics. Their politics say in TV: "we only need to get the olympics started, and then we'll start to deliver ammunition to our soldiers in Ukraine" (who are now disguised as Ukrainian cops, but only beat protesters to death mostly, not counting a few shot with shotguns, and many many more who lost eyes - those "cops" are aiming their rubber bullets at the head).

          In hills near Sochi it looks now like major counter-terrorist operation is ongoing (only there's none announced): they form 24/7 heavily armed patrols and handcuff every tourist/mountaineer, despite permits, and put 'em in cell for a couple of hours so they won't trek/climb there anymore. The law (and local regulations) isn't quite working there for the moment, cops rule the place police-state-style, and paranoya is at teh max.
          I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.


          • #6
            Pretty awesome description of landing in Sochi from one of the course builders:

            I think it's cached because the regime insisted it be taken down?!?


            • #7
              The regime doesn't need to go to court to take down (or blackhole) any site now-a-days; they have a law in place so that they can add the site to their famous "registry of disallowed sites" on request from any person, so every russian ISP is obliged to pull that table and null-route it no later than so-and-so time, or be faced with license revocation. See
              And I don't even talk about Russian hosting.

              A link You shared... Nothing new there.
              What, "that is how Aeroflot works"?
              No, that's how Russia works in general.

              Regarding the tap water he refers to, here's the actual photo of it:
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              and believe me, that's good they actually have tap water.
              I live 15min from the center of Kyiv, and the only way to make yourself a good cup of tea is to use reverse osmosis filtering, or else the tea will not dissolve properly (the solution is already saturated).
              That's the capital.
              Imagine what drips from the tap in Lugansk or Makeevka, or Yenakievo (which gifted us with "our" criminal president).

              And the reason they (and Ukrainians too) drive on the wrong side of the road is pretty simple: majority of roads are like after heavy bombardment, so they simply are choosing the side that is least damaged.

              The reason they drive fast is prosaic, too: they must "fly" their 4x4s over the holes/trenches in "pavement", or else you'll be having a trouble climbing in and out of them every few meters. Main reason is corruption of road police, so the long haul trucks are always going 1.5 to 2 times overweight. That, and road repair funding that goes stolen permanently.

              What, you thought russians just like Vodka?
              Think again.
              Their reality in general is so miserable they must drink Vodka a lot (under strict supervision of FSB, that is) to make it bearable.
              I lived in Russia for some time pre-CCCP collapse and a couple of years back, so I know. Also lived in Moscow, which is completely different country.

              You'll be laughing, but here's the real photo of one of "olympic" toilets on one of "olympic objects", meant to be used by competitive sportsmen:

              That's because putting webcam there is too costly and not tamper-proof, right?
              Oh, and three officers are needed to maintain quorum protocol.
              Mind you, this is not an easy task to obtain position on that chair. The bribes needed are huge. Cause that's relatively easy way to bring yourself a month closer to the FSB pension.

              Over the last thirteen years I see that this "lifestyle" is being pushed again to us, ukrainians, too, cause - my oh my - they lost their governing influence in 1990s. Same thing as goes on in Caucasus, basically. To succeed, they need to "cut" Ukraine in a half, cause people out west are no dumb. Ever heard of Euromaidan? That's how they try to do it. Major FUD (d for deaths) to make east to "ask Russia for military protection" in the end. And so far it seems to work.

              The contrast between Georgian and Russian side of Caucasus (at least from ski-mo perspective) is shocking. Georgia is so much more civilised and hospitable, it is a pleasure (that won't cost You a grand) to be there, while it takes just one look (in person, so you can also feel the stench) at the base of Elbrus mtn to get rid of desire of ever visiting Russia again. That's if you'll live through it, hehe, cause local people there (in Terskol) are non-adequate in general (this hadn't changed much from 1972 my sources say). And I don't even talk about "local police"...
              Last edited by Combiner; 4 February 2014, 02:54 PM. Reason: fix
              I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.


              • #8
                The good thing is, russian orthodox church* had blessed the ski jumping course.
                But apparently there was some lack of time.
                So they blessed it rather hastily:
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                * yeah, official putin one that is used to great success to control russian minds - they even have anti-anime campaign ongoing, staffed 35+. Imagine their budget.
                I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.


                • #9
                  nice posts, combiner. really great to hear from someone "over there". some differences between our civilisations are a bit's very much appreciated when you explain and give the context.

                  PS we were first with the flying nun.


                  • #10
                    Keep an eye on #sochiproblems on Twitter. Some amusing stuff there.


                    • #11
                      The CBC documentary on sochi is being rebroadcast on cbc newsworld… This will be worth watching as it is a shame what is happening there and how the IOC is handling this. The kids are looking forward to watching and that's what the olympics should be about… Excitement, national pride, and promoting the value of sport. It's a shame that corruption is so prevalent. I am a big proponent of picking those 4 or 5 locations that have hosted, have all the facilities, and then just cycling through them. There are only so many resort/urban areas that can support something like the winter olympics… I don't know why they need to keep moving it around.

                      here's the link though - not sure if you can get the link in the USA:

                      The Passionate Eye is home to an internationally-renowned playlist of documentaries from Canada and around the world. They are curated to spark curiosity, provide insight and ignite conversation.

                      the vid will only stay up for 31 days.

                      from the cbc website:

                      As costs for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia spiral to in excess of $50 billion dollars, Putin's Games goes behind the scenes to investigate why the first Winter Games to be held in a sub-tropical resort have become the most expensive Olympics ever. With extraordinary access to top government officials and wealthy Russian businessmen, the documentary follows the preparations from the early stages, exposing alleged corruption, the sky-rocketing budget and the big winners and losers. Putin’s Games questions the entire Sochi nomination, while revealing the environmental and human costs of constructing a faux “winter” for the upcoming Winter Games. “You’d have to spend a long time searching the map of this huge country to find someplace with no snow,” says Boris Nemtsov, a member of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council. “Putin found it.”

                      The city of Sochi on “Russia’s Riviera” is a traditional summer resort for Russia’s rich and beautiful. The Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, acts as tour guide as he shows off the progress being made in preparation for the Games. "We are building a great sports festival for the entire world," he says.

                      But some see the decision by the International Olympics Committee to choose Sochi as host of the 2014 Winter Olympics as bizarre. When the IOC made its decision, there was not one single venue fit for Olympic purposes of any kind in Sochi. Garry Kasparov, former World Chess Champion and political activist says, “Aside from Putin’s particular ability to lobby for it in one-on-one talks, I think the IOC was taken in by the belief that any problem can be solved with enough money.”

                      “Vladimir Putin personally met with almost all the IOC representatives,” says Leonid Tyagachev, former President of the Russian Olympic Committee and a Russian Senator. “The amounts of euros and dollars tossed around were practically unlimited.”

                      As we watch the Olympic site take shape, Putin’s Games reveals the stories of corruption and bribery behind the Games. Valery Morozov, a well-known Russian contractor describes how he fled to the UK after bribes were demanded in exchange for a lucrative construction project in Sochi. Elena Panifilova, Executive Director of Transparency International Russia summarizes the dilemma,” You can be an accomplice or a victim. The choice is yours.”

                      Some residents of Sochi complain that the Games have ruined their resort town. The massive construction projects have left the area scarred with giant landfills, polluted rivers and the destruction of nature reserves. Over 200 Olympic facilities will eventually be built, not including the infrastructure needed to support it.

                      “When we finish the cosmetic work, the pavement and flowers, it will be great, says Sochi Mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov. He is undeterred by the critics. “Our city is a park. It’s meant for leisure not corruption. So all this talk about corruption hurts me.”

                      Putin’s Games is directed by Alexander Gentelev.

                      During the production of Putin's Games, the producers were offered 600,000 euros not to show the film anywhere, but they refused. Recently, Russian authorities tried to cancel its only scheduled screening in Russia, but the largest documentary festival in Moscow went ahead with the premiere and had a standing room only crowd.


                      • #12
                        Powder Mag published this article only digitally after Christian Pondella, Bentchetler, and Pollard went there last year – really good article and great images:

                        At a traditional Russian restaurant in the old part of the Estosadok village, I sit down to dinner with Boris (a fake name requested for anonymity), a 30-something developer who currently has a hotel underway near the base of the RusSki Gorki. Boris looks cool and hip, with long curly blonde hair, a purple jump suit, and a big-ass watch. Over vodka and pickled everything, he tells me about the Wild West building environment he’s found himself embroiled in. Putin’s government had recently instituted legislation where if developers are unable to complete Olympic-oriented projects on time, they could face up to 25 years in jail. On top of that, Putin recently legislated that Olympic facilities that are behind schedule have to pay $65,000 a day in fines.

                        The threat has pushed lift companies to reportedly pour incomplete, non-rebarred concrete foundations for some towers to rush their completion, causing one to fail last season. Boris claims a master plan or architectural guidelines do not exist. “You just get your land, and you go,” he says. “And through hell and high water, you get it done.” But for more simple folk, like Sasha’s mom, who still gardens amidst the dust of development, they carry a different tone. “They’ve wrecked this place, it will never be the same,” she laments. In Russia, however, while people aren’t afraid to complain, rarely do they protest. Sasha’s mom is quick to follow up, “But what can we do?”


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by whitehonky View Post
                          In Russia, however, while people aren’t afraid to complain, rarely do they protest. Sasha’s mom is quick to follow up, “But what can we do?
                          Whoa, they identified THE main reason why the situation in ex-USSR is horrible!


                          I'm full of this attitude.
                          This "what can we do?" bull****... Man, it drives me mad.
                          I despise russian "majority" because of that (and pity them at the same time, given I know their TV, press, orthodox church etc). Same goes for ukrainians, belarusians, etc. But that's no surprise: most activists were shot in 1937, others - during WWII, and genetically this "position" of "what can we do" is well founded. Also, PR does its job:
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                          (signed: russians trust \n president, army, church)

                          But still that's all at lvl1, while I'm in no better situation on lvl2: I know what I can do, but I only can do so much, and the question for me is "with whom to do it?", and the answer is still "none". Almost no one shares clear, unencumbered by virtual simulacra, views on reality and on the way out of present situation.

                          whitehonky , can You please upload that movie to somewhere (thepiratebay for example)? Cause only allows access from Canadian IPs it seems.
                          I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.


                          • #14
                            Nevertheless, the grass is greener every day in Sochi:

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                            Last edited by Combiner; 5 February 2014, 11:01 AM. Reason: tidy
                            I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.


                            • #15
                              That article was in print also. I have the issue around here somewhere.
                              Originally posted by whitehonky View Post
                              Powder Mag published this article only digitally after Christian Pondella, Bentchetler, and Pollard went there last year – really good article and great images:

                              Lift served and proud of it.