All-new Sochi Olympics venues a spectacle of lights, ice

Tuesday January 7th, 2014

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.

38,000 LED lights embedded in an aluminum roof allow Bolshoy Ice Dome to brighten up the night.
Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Cool blue- and black-tinted glass make Iceberg Skating Palace's name self-evident.
Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images
Adler Arena's advanced heating and cooling system can create ideal temps for skaters and spectators.
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

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.

Shayba Arena is not long for Sochi. The "moveable venue" will depart after the Olympics.
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Following the Games, the "moveable venue" will get dismantled and transported to another Russian city.

Ice Cube Curling Center's stone-like exterior is designed to mimic the look of curling stones.
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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.

Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center features two separate stadiums in the mountains.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

7,500 capacity
Biathlon
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.

Twelve miles of track at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center will host all the alpine skiing events.
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7,500 capacity
Alpine skiing
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.

RusSki Gorki Jumping Center's name is meant to evoke a rollar coaster, similar to the jumps' shape.
Bob Martin/SI

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 was critical at Sanki Olympic Sliding Center after Nodar Kumaritashvili's death in Vancouver.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

5,000 capacity
Bobsled, luge
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.

Rosa Khutor Extreme Park will feature "unique" snow conditions for each event, such as aerials (above).
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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