GORKI, Russia, November 11 (R-Sport) - Two hockey arenas for next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi will be converted into a children’s winter sports academy after the Games, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev confirmed Monday.
The plan stems from a suggestion made by President Vladimir Putin in April to create a facility at the Olympic Park “so children can live and learn there” after the February 7 to 23 Olympics.
Medvedev said Monday that the new All-Russian Childrens’ Sport and Health Center would “be created on the basis of two Olympic facilities” at a cost of 260 million rubles ($8 million) in federal money for next year alone.
The two facilities concerned are the 7,000-capacity Shayba hockey arena, also known as the Small Arena, which will host women’s hockey during the Games, and the training hall for hockey, which will not be used for competition.
Medvedev’s statement resolves some of the remaining questions over the future of venues at the Olympic park after several changes to legacy plans. Three venues, including the Shayba arena, were constructed so that they could be dismantled and moved to other cities after the Games end, but there are now no plans to do so.
The Fisht Olympic Stadium will become a venue for the 2018 football World Cup, while the main hockey arena, the Bolshoi Ice Dome, will continue to host hockey and the Iceberg Skating Palace, built to be portable, will stay on site as a velodrome.
The main long-track speedskating venue, the Adler Arena, will be an exhibition center, while the 3,000-capacity Ice Cube Curling Center will be used as a training facility after earlier plans for a move to Moscow were dropped.
In the mountains, the Alpine venues will revert to being ski resorts or training centers for Russia’s national teams in various sports.