Dec 11, 2012, 8:29 AM EST
Whether it’s the views, the weather, or the facilities, figure skaters from around the world are singing the praises of Sochi after the first test event was held in the 2014 Olympic Park over the weekend.
“It’s a beautiful arena and the atmosphere here is just fantastic,” world champ Meryl Davis told Reuters. “We’ve been several times in Moscow but this is our first visit to Sochi. Everything feels great.”
“For us it’s a great privilege to be here so early,” added 2010 gold medalist Scott Moir. “The venue definitely has an Olympic feeling to it It reminds me a lot of the arena in Vancouver.”
Davis and her partner, Charlie White, won the first event held at Sochi’s Iceberg Palace – the Russian Grand Prix. The pair said they’re excited to return to Sochi in 14 months to try for the Olympic title that eluded them when they won silver in Vancouver.
Not everything is perfect of course. Traffic and empty arena seats seemed to plague the weekend’s event, but the President of the International Skating Union, Ottavio Cinquanta, wasn’t concerned. Those kinks are why Sochi will continue to regularly run test events leading up to the Games.
And the athletes weren’t bothered much, either.
“We’re seasoned competitors and we’ve been around many places, so if we’re stuck in traffic or the food is not that great, these things don’t bother us,” White concluded. “It doesn’t take our focus away from our main goal, which is to skate well.”
- South Korean Olympic swim champ Park Tae-hwan fails drug test 0
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 2
- Lindsey Vonn wins final race before World Championships (video) 0
- Ashley Wagner shatters records for third U.S. figure skating title 3
- Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14 0
- Lindsey Vonn struggles in St. Moritz downhill (video) 0
- Jason Brown leads U.S. short program; quad debate stoked 1
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)