Russia Tagged To Host Winter Games

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SAM Magazine-Guatemala City, Guatemala. July 5, 2007-The International Olympic Committee has chosen the Russian resort of Krasnaya Polyana and the adjacent town of Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Games, beating out Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"The Winter Olympic Games in Russia for the first time in our history stand as a historic opportunity for the Olympic Movement to mark Russia's future forever," said former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.

"What a fabulous opportunity we have with the selection of Sochi as the 2014 Olympic site!" added U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) President and CEO Bill Marolt. "It's a chance to take our sports to a new and truly fascinating destination in the Caucasus Mountains along the Russian Riviera of the Black Sea."

The mountains above the Krasnaya Polyana valley are home to Russia's primary winter resorts with massive alpine terrain. The new Rosa Khutor will have over 5,000 feet of vertical, making it one of the biggest lift-served mountains in the world. Krasnaya Polyana has hosted a variety of American athletes over the past few years, film crews from both Teton Gravity Research and Matchstick Productions have shot at the resort, and the ski area has featured in stories in both Powder and Freeskier magazines.

Most of the snow competitions are planned at Rosa Khutor, about 30 miles from the Black Sea, with nordic events at Psekhako Ridge. Former Breckenridge Resort co-president Roger McCarthy recently joined the company building Rosa Khutor to head the development of what will be Russia's largest ski resort.

"Roger was a big help to us with competition and training for our athletes when he worked for Vail Resorts and Intrawest," said Marolt. "It's exciting to know that he will play a key role in building the stunning new ski and snowboard venues in Sochi."

Sochi's airport is just 10 minutes from the city. With the mountain venues less than an hour away, it will be one of the most convenient Winter Olympics in recent history. Sochi represents a truly unique location for winter sports; spectators will be able to catch an Olympic competition in the afternoon in the mountains, and stroll that evening under palm trees along the Black Sea in Sochi. The city has the northernmost tropical climate in the world due to its location between the Caucasus Mountains, including Russia's highest peak (Mount Elbrus, 18,000 feet), and the Black Sea. Temperatures in the mountains likely will be in the 20s with little wind, while winter temperatures are expected to be in the 40s and 50s in the city.

"Russia is a great winter sports nation and the hosts will bring incredible passion to these truly unique Games," said Marolt.