Sochi: Cross-country skiers more used to wearing hats and thermals yesterday stripped down to the bare minimum to stay cool as temperatures remained hot at the Sochi Olympics.
Chris Jespersen during the men’s 15-km classic in Sochi. Pic/Getty Images.
The tough men’s 15 km classic time trial saw apparel not usually associated with skiing, with many competitors wearing just T-shirts instead of the normal long-sleeves while others even bared their legs.
Norway’s Chris Andre Jespersen took the highly unusual step of wearing shorts as well as a T-Shirt, cutting a dashing figure in the snow with his bright red outfit and bare legs.
Alexandra Camenscic applies snow to her face after finishing her event. Pic/AFP.
Britons Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young meanwhile cut their racing tights below the knees to bare their calves. Temperatures at the Laura Centre where the cross country events are held rose to 12 degrees Celsius.
Britain’s bronze medallist Jenny Jones (left) recently tweeted a picture of herself with snowboarder Ben Kilner with the message: Enjoying a wee “bronzing” moment in the sun
However, organisers have expressed confidence that there is more than enough snow in place and the warm weather should not impact the race timetable for the Games. Meanwhile, high temperatures forced several freestyle skiing training sessions to be cancelled or rescheduled at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
With the temperature reaching 15 degrees Celsius, the International Ski Federation (FIS) cancelled the first ski cross training. “Given the high temperatures and thermal stress on the ski cross course, it is not wise to train today,” said FIS Race Director Joseph Fitzgerald.
The women’s aerials competition was still scheduled to start at its original time of 17:45 on Friday, but men’s aerials training today and tomorrow have been rescheduled.
Temperatures in Sochi on Thursday touched 18 degrees Celsius — which is hotter than the host cities of the last 10 Winter Games.
Incredibly, it was hotter in Sochi yesterday than seven of the Summer Olympics host cities such as London, which hosted the 2012 Games (7 degrees), Beijing, which hosted the Olympics in 2008 (3 degrees), Athens, which hosted the 2004 Games (16 degrees), Atlanta, the venue of the 1996 Games (9 degrees), Seoul, which hosted the 1988 Games (8 degrees), Moscow, the venue of the 1980 Games (2 degrees) and Montreal, which hosted the 1976 Olympics (-2 degrees).