Weather, culture and Olympians: Getting to know Sochi
Monday, January 27, 2014, 4:16 PM -
This year’s 2014 Winter Games are being held in a place unknown to many living outside of Russia. So what’s it like in Sochi, a city located on the coast of the Black Sea?
To start off, the weather in Sochi is unlike other places in Russia. It is very humid and has a subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and mild winters. It is also Russia’s largest resort city. In fact, this will be the warmest city to have ever hosted the Winter Games.
Looking to the Sochi Games in February, temperatures typically average 8.3°C while winter lows rarely dip below freezing for long periods. The temperatures in this month are also characterized by gradually rising daily high temperatures. This has sparked concerns by many who believe the temperatures to be too warm to host winter events. To make matters worse, Sochi receives more rain than snow in this month. About 70 percent of the total precipitation in February is usually rain while only 20 percent of precipitation is snow.
As a result of the warm temperatures in the area, these Winter Games will be one of the most expensive to host. And fears about the lack of snow for the Sochi Games are by no means unrealistic. Two events were tested in the city last February but were cancelled due to the rainy weather and lack of snow. Organizers have reassured people that this will pose no problem this year though. If worse comes to worst, their Plan B will be to use the 450,000 cubic meters of snow that they stored under an insulated blanket from last year’s snowfall. Alternatively, they have installed one of Europe’s biggest snow-making systems to combat any snow dilemmas.
But what else is Sochi known for? Besides its status as a resort city, it is also well-known for its sports facilities. Most notably are the tennis schools in the area that have trained such athletes as Maria Sharapova and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Numerous officials and leaders also have vacation homes in the city, one of which was Joseph Stalin.
JUST THE FACTS: 2014 WINTER GAMES
- WHO: Athletes from 88 nations will participate in the 2014 games. More than 2,500 athletes are set to compete
- WHAT: This year, there will be 98 events in 15 different sports
- WHERE: The competition will play out at 11 different sports venues
- WHEN: The games will be held between February 7 and February 23, 2014
Thumbnail photo courtesy of Kenny Louie via Flickr Creative Commons