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Life's a beach at the Winter Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2014 at 11:21 am •  Published: February 12, 2014

"Yes, the weather is absolutely gorgeous, which is, of course, challenging," Sochi 2014 spokeswoman Aleksandra Kosterina said. But, she added: "Nothing we are not prepared for."

They have been storing snow on the mountain to use in case the existing pack melts too low, but Kosterina said on Wednesday they have yet to tap into it. And snow isn't the only precious commodity up there. Officials have been using salt to firm up the soft, slushy snow on several of the courses, and the technique's effectiveness on the halfpipe on Tuesday night has created a minor feeding frenzy on the mountain's salt reserves.

"All other disciplines now want to have this salt because they see what is doable in the halfpipe," said Guenter Hujara, men's Alpine race referee.

But Hujara warned Alpine coaches not to overuse the supply on their warm-up courses, instead saving it for the competition runs as the week goes on.

"We have a great team there working together with the federations to ensure that the tracks are ready," Kosterina said.

Back in the coastal cluster, where the arena events like hockey, curling, speedskating and figure skating take place, the Canadian women's hockey wore shorts and short sleeves while warming up outside before a game against the Americans. Those famous Sochi stray dogs sprawled out on the boardwalk as palm trees swayed in the warm breeze and Moscow resident Alexei Shabanov, on the beach in a T-shirt and shorts, chuckled at the motto for the Sochi Games — "Hot. Cool. Yours."

"One can drive just one hour to ski and to freeze," Shabanov said through an interpreter, "and come back to get warm on the beach."


AP Sports Writers Steve Wilson and Graham Dunbar contributed to this story.