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Olympic Complex Nears Completion in Sochi

Matvei Geller, head of Gazproms 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 worlds longest aerial cableway.
    Photo: GALINA STOLYAROVA / SPT

  • The ski and biathlon complex will serve as a training base for Russias 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 worlds 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 worlds 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 Gazproms 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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Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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