The final of the Olympic Winter Games ice hockey tournament will take place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome today, a moment eagerly awaited by fans from all over the world. Canada and Sweden will fight it out for Olympic gold. Ahead of the competition for one of the marquee Olympic medals, hockey players share their impressions of the Olympic Bolshoy Ice Dome and tell us how important they found the passionate support from the stands.
Swiss hockey player Ryan Gardner gave his opinion on the features of playing at such a large ice hockey rink:
"For me, big ice means more time, and if you give the better players in the world more time, they are more dangerous."
Russian Alexander Ovechkin said how much he enjoyed playing at his home arena:
"The ice was great, but the surface is rather big, and we need to think about the angles of shots."
US team defender Cam Fowler noted the activity of the fans in the stands:
"You could just feel the buzz in the air and you just had that whole feeling the whole game. It was a really special game to be a part of".
Russian forward Viktor Tikhonov shared:
"It's really unbelievable. You'd think it'd be kind of nervous playing at home but I think it's the other way around. We get a lot of fuel from the fans, and a lot of extra energy."
During the Olympic Winter Games the Bolshoy Ice Dome hosted men's and women's ice hockey matches. The Bolshoy has a capacity of 12,000 spectators. A stunning single spherical silver-colored dome 193 x 142 m covers the building. Its design is based on the image of frozen drops of water. The dome has a total area of more than 7,000 sq. m, rising almost 50 m over the main ice hockey arena and creates a giant screen which shows eye-catching images. During Olympic ice hockey matches the dome projects huge images of flags of the playing teams as well as the score of the game.
The color of the facade's glass was selected so that by day reflecting highlights would play inside, while in the evening it would become fully transparent, enabling people to see the interior of the building.
The name of the Ice Dome highlights the characteristics of this sports venue. The Bolshoy is one of the biggest Olympic venues for hosting events in the most popular sport of the Olympic Winter Games. At the same time, the word "Bolshoy" is understandable and familiar to people from many different countries, evoking stable associations with Russia - the Bolshoy Theatre, the traditions of the Russian school of ballet, figure skating, ice hockey and other achievements of the biggest country in the world.
The first international test event that was held at the venue was the IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship, which took place in April 2013. After the Games, the Bolshoy Ice Dome will become a multi-purpose sports center.