Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sochi2014 Overview

Taking the high view at Sochi2014 is a CameraDrone. I caught a glimpse of it during the Women's SlopeStyle competition. You could see the drone following the skiers down the course. I didn't see any of the drone's footage on NBC's broadcast.

I searched my favorite Geek websites for CameraDrone no avail...I Ixquick-ed it and found one story: 'Drone in Sochi shooting live Olympic TV, not terrorists, as sneaky machines find new uses' Talk about a loaded headline...

The AP article says Olympic Broadcasting Services is running the drones...kinda. It sounds like British Company Heliguy might actually be handling the flying/filming, though the exact details were omitted in the AP story.

After 24 hours, this one AP story has been published dozens of times by large and small news outlets...from 24/7 cable heavyweights like FoxNews, to small local affiliates...let's see if these amazing little fliers get any more ink...I did suss that the CameraDrones are at the SlopeStyle and Ski Jumping venues.

I've noticed more than a little inaccuracy in some of the Sochi tech stories I've read. The numbers in the 'Stockpiled Snow' articles have been epically...let's say...flexible, and I expect misunderstood. For example the first story said there was one year's-worth of snow stockpiled...700K cubic meters, or 928K cubic yards. Another story claimed none of the stockpile was utilized yet, then went on to say 25K cubic feet is ready at hand?

Another story I cited said two year's-worth of Sochi snow had been stockpiled. Math is hard...I'm guessing there may be language barrier issues contributing to the confusion too...

It's amazing the facts that fall out on the floor while you're looking for Sochi info! Browsing through Olympic Broadcasting Services' website, I found out that Swiss World Cup Alpine Ski racer, Bernhard Russi is the architect of the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort where Sochi2014's Alpine events are held.

Russi is a two-time Olympic Medalist, one Downhill Gold from Sapporo1972, and a Downhill Silver from Innsbruck1976 where he lost by 0.33 second to Austria's Franz Klammer after Klammer's legendary run starting 15th, the last of the top seeds. This Downhill was the Gold Standard, shown during every Winter Games broadcast until NBC bought the current Olympic Television Rights in 1988. Klammer's daring run, and ABCsports' Frank Gifford and Bob Beatti's play-by-play are legendary.

Russi designed Rosa Khutor, but he didn't choose the site. Much has been said about Sochi's Sub-Tropical climate, however it's not the Southernmost Winter Olympics site. The title goes to Nagano, Japan site of the 1998 Winter Games.

Top 5:
Nagano is at 36° 28" N In order are Nagano, Squaw Valley1960 at 39° 11" N, Salt Lake City2002 at 40° 45" N, Sochi2014 at 43° 35" N, and Sarajevo1984 at 43° 52"

NOAA's says Sochi is one of the warmest winter games host sites ever.

Wednesday AM Update:
This morning I found a story that says: Balmy Temps Force Sochi2014 to Use Stockpiled Snow. Krasnaya Polyana is the region where the Rosa Khutor Resort's Alpine Events are contested.

The article is more of an overview...none of the specifics I'm into were addressed. It would be nice to know which courses got the transfusions of banked snow.

I finally found a decent Weather Page for Rosa Khutor: Krasnodar, Russia (URKK) Not a forecast that bodes well...temps forecast to stay above freezing through Sunday, with a 60% chance of rain Sunday, High temps in the mid-50's...

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