Sochi Travel; Rifle Storage Room with Martin Fourcade

05.03.2013, Sochi / IBU Info JK
Long Travel Day
The busses for the first flight to Sochi left the Holmenkollen Rica Park Hotel Monday at 5:30 AM, before dawn; it was after dark, around 7:30 PM, when the first group of athletes and coaches arrived at the hotel in Krasnaya Polyana. That sums up the travel day as the World Cup caravan traveled southeast to the 2014 Olympic venue outside of Sochi, Russia.

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In Bed at 1:30 AM

Actually, that first group that is staying in the valley below the Laura Biathlon complex had the easiest day of travel. Athletes staying at the venue, which involves a 10-minute cable car ride up the mountain, added another hour of travel time. Two flights followed with the last group of weary travelers finally hitting their beds around 1:30 AM on Tuesday.

Everyone on this annual tour is used to travel, but many times, the flights or drives within Central Europe are short, except for the annual trip to Khanty Mansiysk or the occasional trip to far-flung venues in the US or Korea. Still, this was a bit unusual, the trip to Sochi was the first leg of two weeks in Russia for World Cups 8 and 9.It is also the first trip to the 2014 venue for virtually everyone; an orientation and learning trip.

 Long Day

Although there were long lines to check in personal baggage in Oslo, an extended wait of almost two hours for a final rifle check at Sochi airport and the slow bus ride of an hour for the 60 km to Krasnaya Polyana, the trip was fairly painless. Still, everyone was quite tired from the travel and three-hour time change; sleep was not an issue when people hit the beds last night.

1430 Meters

Now that the whole 400-plus person group is here, today will be an easy training and acclimation day. Bags are being unpacked, wax cabins set up Most of the athletes and some servicemen are staying at the Olympic Village near the stadium, while other athletes and coaches are in the valley, some 900 meters below the stadium which sits at 1430 meters. Those in the valley have to travel up by cable car and then by shuttle 1 km to the stadium. Athletes in the village also have to take a shuttle 1 km to the venue.

Rifle Security

Not surprisingly, security controls are frequent, with credential and bag checks at the cable car station plus several in the stadium area. Just as in Khanty Mansiysk, the athletes rifles are are stored in a secure locked vault and dry firing is also done in a secure room. They are not allowed to have rifles or ammunition in their rooms. The World Cup Total Score leader Martin Fourcade commented, “We are used to this security when we come to Russia. It is okay; I can sleep without my rifle in my room.” TV visited some of the athletes as they were unpacking their rifles today in “In the Rifle Storage Room with Martin Fourcade.”

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