All-new Sochi Olympics venues a spectacle of lights, ice
But Fisht Stadium is about soccer more than the Olympics, really. Russia will host the World Cup in 2018, with Fisht as one of the 12 venues for the tournament. The stadium, which can increase capacity post-Games to around 45,000 for World Cup soccer, will eventually reduce to 25,000 seats for local and national team events. The infrastructure was purposefully left "unbuilt" to allow for flexibility of use during the Olympics and to adapt to soccer needs in the future.
The term Bolshoy reminds the world of Russia's Bolshoy Theatre and the success and tradition that Russia has enjoyed in the schools of ballet and ice sports.
The oval-shaped facility for speed skating holds two competition tracks and a training track with microclimates built into the venue for optimal ice conditions. With over 37 miles of piping inside for heating and cooling, officials can manage temperature and humidity levels down to several tenths of a degree in varying zones. The interior foil-like ceiling includes technology designed to reduce heat emissions by five times.
Following the Games, the "moveable venue" will get dismantled and transported to another Russian city.
The gray and silver exterior was meant to resemble stone, akin to curling stones. The façade features mirrored stained glass, tinted with a graphite hue.
Located on the crest and slopes of the Psekhako Ridge and named after the Laura River — which has its own folklore story to go with it — the center boasts two separate stadiums, each with its own start and finish zones and isolated track systems for skiing and biathlon.
This single-venue resort will host all the Alpine skiing, including downhill, combined, giant slalom and super giant slalom with a total length of competition track at over 12 miles on the Aibga Ridge slopes above the Mzymta River. With the slopes designed by internationally known ski architect Bernard Russi, the stands will allow spectators in the Krasnaya Polyana district to enjoy a variety of racing styles.
According to Sochi organizers, the name has multiple meanings. Meant to sound like a roller coaster, which is symbolic of the shape of the jumps that are also known as "Russian Mountains," RusSki also plays off the "English slang word for a Russian person."
Safety first was the mantra at the sledding tracks built at the Alpika Service Mountain Ski Resort. With a vertical drop of about 430 feet throughout the 18 curves in the track, spectators will line the track down to the Rzhanaya Polyana finishing area.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.