My road to Sochi – part 3: RusSki Gorki hills

Published On March 3, 2014 | By Sportsbuff | Blog, HOME

Everyone, who knows me is aware of my craziness about ski jumping. So being at the Olympics in Sochi, working every day on the ski jumping hills was for me a dream come true. More about my role as ONS Flash Quote Reporter another day but this time something about the Olympic hills.

It feels like taking pictures of Sochi hills became my main hobby and a regular task in here. I can’t even fully understand why because they couldn’t drastically change over night. However, every time they emerged from around the corner while I travelled by a cable car to RusSki Gorki venue, they looked more beautiful and I felt extremely happy to be able to call them my office.

sochi olympic hills day

sochi hills olympics night

The Olympic hills in Sochi have been built specially for Sochi 2014, with just some test events taking place before the biggest event. You can easily see how artificial they are and the whole venue looks a bit like a construction site with the jumps being the only white-covered part. You won’t be able to see the venue from the Esta-Sadok train station located at the bottom of it, but if you travel in direction of other mountain cluster venues you will see it’s just up the road. From Esta-Sadok you could reach it by a bus through loads of switchbacks or by a red cable car, which is the option I’ve usually took just to make my trips more unusual.

sochi hills olympics cable car mountains

sochi hills olympics cable car

After about 5 minutes of this ride the famous stairs welcome you – over 200 for volunteers a couple of times a day, to check-in or to eat but for the spectators just a couple to get to their stands. However, as soon as you get off the cable car you’re there, in front of the RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre. Two hills next to each other, the large one with K-Point at 125m and the normal one at 95m. Both with a joint landing area. During the Olympics some people found it funny, how massive and empty this white space was but it was mostly due to the fact the out-run was used as part of the Nordic Combined track. However, in the meantime the organizers decorated it with a palm tree shape and later with a dolphin. Quite unusual as for the winter event but it just presents the exotic atmosphere of Sochi.

sochi hills olympics stairs

palm tree sochi hills

dolphin sochi hills olympics

My role required me to spend most of time in the mixed zone at the bottom, however on a couple of occasions I had a chance to visit my friends who worked at the top and I have to say these trips were equally exciting. I’m getting quite good in overcoming my fear of heights but the only thing that defeated me completely was sitting on a starting gate of the large hill. Something that I wanted to do for a long time became an unfulfilled dream again and even my friend’s encouraging words “if you don’t do it, you’re going to regret it later” couldn’t help me. Eventually sitting on the edge was enough for me for that day and I could still see myself tumbling down the in-run.

sochi hills backstage

sochi hills chair lift

me afraid sochi hills

gate sochi hills olympics

It was also great to visit some places, that I normally wouldn’t have a chance to visit. To walk the corridors where athletes usually walk before their start, where they eat or to see their waiting room. What I liked the most were those short moments spent on the top of the hill, in full sun, just enjoying being there and taking thousands of pictures to memorize these special moments.

sochi hills changing rooms

sochi hills olympics from the top

On the last day, after the nordic combined team event finished, all of the venue’s volunteers poured out onto the out-run and started their farewell party. Some people climbed the hill just to slide down but most of us were taking pictures and collecting as many souvenirs as possible.

me jumping hills sochi olympics

Listening to people who after two weeks of being there were looking forward to coming back to a “normal” life, I started asking myself if I’ll ever have enough of this. While walking back from the mixed zone for the last time, with tears in my eyes I’ve thrown a last glance on the Olympic rings that decorated both jumps and realized how much I love this sport and everything about it. Its pure magic, even the shape of all hills, doesn’t matter if they are big or small, and all the elements which make it whole. When I was in Poland during ski jumping World Cup in Zakopane and talked with my friends that I’m going to spend the entire Olympics, two entire weeks on hills, we still couldn’t believe it. But this dream came true.

me looking olympic rings sochi hills

One Response to My road to Sochi – part 3: RusSki Gorki hills

  1. tuctuc says:

    So so nice to read this. You can taste it by looking at photos. Im so happy for you babes! x

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