From the 27 August to 1 September, on the threshold of celebration of a Half a Year to Go to the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, the "Four Nations" Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament will take place at the Shayba Arena. The launch will be hosted by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee and the Russian Paralympic Committee. Sochi says "Yes!" to 67 athletes from four countries - Russia, Canada, the Czech Republic and Norway.
Ahead of the Paralympic competitions, the Shayba Arena has been specially designed out to accommodate athletes with disabilities. For example, a transparent barrier has been installed in the area for reserve players and manual exercise bikes have been installed in the warm-up area.
The "Four Nations" Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament will be the last international test event that the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will hold before the Sochi 2014 Games. It will bring together the best national ice sledge hockey teams. These teams received the highest IPC rating following their performance during the World Cup in 2013. Russian athletes including Selyukin Vadim, Dmitry Lisov, Ilya Volkov and Mikhail Ivanov will take part in the event.
In total, ten matches will take place over the course of the Tournament. From 27 to 29 August, the teams will play a round robin tournament, ensuring on each team will compete with each other. On August 30, teams will undergo their last training sessions before the semifinals on 31 August. The winners will meet in the semifinals on Sunday, September 1, at 16:00 at the Shayba Arena. The third place match will take place at 12:00.
For the ice sledge hockey tournament, the Shayba Arena and the Training Arena have been additionally equipped with transparent barriers in the reserve player area, an access system from the dressing rooms to the competition area for players by moving on artificial ice, bathrooms and showers in the changing rooms for athletes with disabilities, as well as manual exercise bikes in the warm-up area. Equipment service teams have been allocated welding equipment for the rapid repair of sledges (sleds).
The tournament will be judged by 17 international judges. Over 100 representatives of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will continue testing of all services and functions at the venue, that will host best Paralympic athletes during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.
In total, about 200 Sochi 2014 volunteers will ensure the organization and operation of the Test Events. In the framework of preparation for the first ever Paralympic Games in Russia the volunteers took special trainings on work with people with disabilities. They will share their experiences with their colleagues from the Sochi 2014 Volunteer Centers and will use it at the Paralympic Games in Sochi.
Notes to the Editor
The Shayba Arena is made to look like a snowdrift. It would be impossible to imagine a game of ice hockey without a "shayba" or puck. The name precisely portrays the purpose of the venue. In addition, for Russians, the cry "Shaybu!" is a universal and recognizable way of supporting hockey teams at various tournaments. Therefore, this name highlights the character of the "Russian" Winter Games.
The height of the Shayba Arena is 22.8 m, its capacity is 7,000 spectators. The venue will host Olympic ice hockey competitions and Paralympic ice sledge hockey competitions.
During the pouring of the first cubic meter of concrete, the construction workers laid a symbolic hockey puck at the foundation of the arena.
The first international Test Events were the IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship, which took place at the venue in April 2013.