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Olympics: Temperatures rise in Sochi but show goes on

Temperatures rose at the winter Olympics in Sochi on Tuesday to create "challenging" conditions for competitors but events would be held on schedule, organisers said.

SOCHI, Russia: Temperatures rose at the winter Olympics in Sochi on Tuesday to create "challenging" conditions for competitors but events would be held on schedule, organisers said.

There has been considerable concern about the weather for the 2014 Games given that the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi is known for its balmy sub-tropical climate.

Temperatures rose Tuesday to 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit) at sea level where stadium-based events are held and 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit) at the mountain cluster which is hosting the alpine and nordic events

"It was freezing overnight, it is a little warm now which is causing one or two problems," said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams.

"But it (the events plan) is running to schedule and the FIS (International Ski Federation) are used to this.

"There is plenty of snow, it is just a little bit warm. The next few days will be a little warm but not unbearable," he added.

Some competitors have expressed alarm about the effect of the weather conditions on the spectacular snowboard halfpipe event.

Adams said there was no problem with the halfpipe itself but admitted "as always with events anywhere on snow, when it is a little warm it can be a little challenging."

The holding of the Winter Games in southerly and relatively warm venues has become nothing unusual in recent years.

The Games were held as far south as Nagano in Japan in 1998 and the last Games in Vancouver in 2010 saw vast amounts of snow trucked into the race areas to provide an adequate surface.

Russia also last winter stockpiled tens of thousands of cubic metres of snow in case of warm temperatures. Sochi 2014 spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina said organisers were confident there would be no problems.

"We have a strong contingency plan in place with snow preservation and snow stored from the last season."

She said the plan had already been tested during test events last year which were held in warm weather.

She said the snow reserves had already been used but did not specify if this was during the Games itself or in the build-up.

After enjoying spectacular clear skies and crisp temperatures on the first days of the Games, Sochi and the mountain areas are now seeing muggy weather which has also brought rain.

Sochi has always been promoted by Russia as the kind of all-season resort where visitors can ski in the mountains and swim in the sea on the same day.

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