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Olympic Complex Nears Completion in Sochi

Matvei Geller, head of Gazprom’s special projects department, said all construction work will be finished by October this year.

Published: January 16, 2013 (Issue # 1742)



  • Work is nearing completion at the Alpika Service ski complex, which will be linked to the bottom of the Krasnaya Polyana resort by the world’s longest aerial cableway.
    Photo: GALINA STOLYAROVA / SPT

  • The ski and biathlon complex will serve as a training base for Russia’s teams.
    Photo: GALINA STOLYAROVA / SPT

As the much-anticipated Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games approach, the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana is getting ready to host international competitions at its brand new facilities. The state-of-the-art biathlon and ski complex, which boasts arguably the world’s most complex and challenging runs, is set to host the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup Biathlon competition in March this year.

While Russian athletes are yet to produce impressive results on home soil, the team behind the ambitious project has begun to set its own records. The Alpika Service ski complex is putting the finishing touches to the world’s longest aerial cableway, which will link the transport hub at the bottom of the Krasnaya Polyana resort with the ski and biathlon complex up at the Psekhako Ridge.

The cableway will have the capacity to serve up to 3,000 people per hour, according to Vladimir Makarenko, deputy director for the construction of Olympic projects of the Social Invest wing of the Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom.

“The technical solution that we are employing on this cableway is unique: This is a so-called 3S road, meaning that instead of the one rope usually used on such cableways, we are using three,” said Makarenko.

“This extra resource ensures that we can use very large gondolas that can hold up to 32 people. By comparison, a standard cabin has a modest capacity for no more than five people.”

Work is in full swing at the future transport hub that will connect those who arrive by train from the Adler-Sochi airport and by bus from the nearby areas to the stadiums by three aerial cableways. The three cableways will together be able to process up to 7,000 people per hour.

At present, with about 70 percent of work completed, Alpika Service is a busy construction site, with shells of buildings looming over piles of facing tiles, pipes, metal and wire.

Matvei Geller, head of Gazprom’s special projects department, said all construction work will be finished by October this year, when the company will announce the total costs of the ambitious project.

The biathlon and ski complex has already gained praise and approval from both medal-winning sportsmen and sports officials who have had the opportunity to assess the facilities.

Sergei Prosvirnin is a four-time world champion in summer biathlon, a warm weather version of the traditional biathlon in which the skiing is replaced by either running or mountain biking. He now works for the state-run ROS Engineering Service that has been contracted to provide technical assistance in the construction of the Olympic projects.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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