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But look at Vancouver. Normally the North Shore mountains will have five metres of snow, and then we had an almost drought during the Olympic year before it started to rain. You're always going to have weather when you have a ski area on the ocean, or in this case a sea like the Black Sea. Sochi has palm trees, and is probably one of the warmest spots ever to host the Games.
If anything this was a little yellow flag going up to make sure that they're doing a better job (with snow) and to make sure they have a ton of snow set aside.
Pique: Did anything stick out that could be a concern for the Canadian athletes or organizers?
Podborski: Mainly that it's a long, long way away and everybody has to get in there a little early. I actually spoke with the German national Olympic committee and they're putting pressure on Lufthansa (airline) to start doing direct flights to Sochi next year. So access is important. But for us there's nothing different from Vancouver, we're building on an amazing performance here and we suspect that we'll be even better there.
Pique: One of the big issues has been getting the NHL to release hockey players to play in the Olympics, but those talks stopped when the lockout hit. What's the sense over in Sochi, are organizers confident that the NHL is going to let the players go?
Podborski: It seems like there's some optimism there, certainly. The way I look at it, and this is my personal opinion, is that I can't imagine that the Russians (in the NHL) aren't going to go and play in these Games. I'm pretty sure they're going to turn up and all the other players as well.
Pique: Each Games builds on the last one. Are there any things that the Russians have learned from us?
Podborski: There were quite a few things. Some of them were kind of interesting. Remember when it was so warm (in 2010) that officials were worried that the jumps wouldn't stay together for moguls? What the course crews did was fill tubes with dry ice and stick them into the jumps to cool the snow. They've taken that idea and some others too.
Their sliding track is a lot like ours as well, although it has three uphill sections in it... I talked to the athletes and they say it's fun.
Pique: Will the Games seem familiar to athletes and fans, or are things very different?
Podborski: They have some things that will be familiar, but they also have some quite different things. The really different thing is that they've built virtually all of the venues. I can't think of any major venue that existed before they won the Games. If you went there five years ago there was a ski hill, but it was small. You wouldn't recognize the place today. They've built, I don't know how many hotels and residences, the village is all new. It's crazy.
June 17, 2013, 5:00 PM
Social services, church and housing being built by Sea to Sky Community Services and United Church More...
June 17, 2013, 11:15 AM
Market opens with vendor numbers at maximum More...
June 16, 2013, 12:30 AM
67-kilometre mountain bike race sees 871 racers at the start More...