On April 16th, all of the 10 teams participating in the 2013 Ice Hockey U18 World Championship have followed their trainings at the ice arenas of the Olympic Park in Sochi. The tournament is held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia in partnership with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
After the training sessions, players and coaches of different teams shared their first impressions about the practice on the ice of Olympic venues.
Don Hay (Canada), head coach:
“The practice was really good today. I am really happy with the effort that the guys put forth. After a long trip, a little bit of jet lag, but there is lots of spirit, lots of life, good execution. Beautiful rink, it’s just a great rink to come in and play in.
“We’ve been shown great hospitality by everybody since we’ve landed here. We appreciate this hospitality and the efforts that the people are going and putting forth for us.”
Morgan Klimchuk (Canada), forward:
“It was a good ice practice, it was good to get here and get on the ice, see the new facility. We had a really good practice, it was fast. I was really happy with how it went.
“It’s very cool, it’s very special emotions to be the first ones, especially to play here. It’s a very nice facility. I’m really proud to be part of it.
“It’s very well built, it’s very appealing on the ice. It’s very nice to stay here. The gym, the dressing room, everything is top.”
Igor Kravchuk (Russia), head coach:
“The US team is one of the favorites to win the tournament: they have won it so many times in the past. But you can't rule anyone out: Canada, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic are all really strong.
“It's a wonderful facility, very comfortable and warm. I have no complaints at all.”
Rikard Grönborg (Sweden), head coach:
“It’s unbelievable, top modern locker rooms and facilities, beautiful location by the ocean. So far, it’s top notch!
“The tournament is going to be very competitive. We have some top nations here that are going to compete for the biggest prize at this age group, so we are looking forward to it. We’ve got some North American teams as well as some European teams, so it’s going to be a really good competition.
“Right now, we’ve been skating pretty hard on it, but it seems like it’s a very good ice.”
Jacob de la Rose (Sweden), forward:
“I think it’s a really nice arena, good locker room. My first impression is that everything is very good here. I am really looking forward to the tournament.”
Manuele Celio (Switzerland), head coach:
“I think it’s really nice to be here, the dressing room is really big with place for everybody. It’s comfortable to be here. The ice is good, the boards are really fast. We are not used to that fast boards but everything looks good.
“Until now, the organization was really good. No problem till now, so we hope that it will continue like that.”
Denis Malgin (Switzerland), forward:
“The arena is beautiful. When you enter the hall, you think about which stars will play here in a year's time. Of course, it is very interesting to play here. Everything is nicely done. I think that it will be all good.”
Photo gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43767123@N02/
Notes to the editor
The IIHF complex of venues is made up of the "Bolshoy" Ice Dome, the "Shayba" Arena, and the training arena. The venues are located in close proximity to one other, providing maximum convenience for athletes and guests of the Games.
The "Bolshoy" Ice Dome is a building with a domed roof. The design of the arena is based on the image of a frozen water drop. The dome roof is mainly silver in color.
The name of the Ice Dome highlights the characteristics of this sports venue. The "Bolshoy" (the Russian word for "big") will be one of the biggest Olympic venues, hosting events in one of the most popular sports of the Winter Olympics. At the same time, the word "Bolshoy" is understandable and familiar to people from many different countries, evoking 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 "Shayba" Arena is designed 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. Also, for Russians, shouting "Shaybu!" is a universal and familiar way of showing support for hockey teams in different competitions. Therefore, this name highlights the character of the "Russian" Winter Games.