With the likes of Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Lund Svindal coming to town, the Alpine skiing courses for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are about to get a very serious test.
Following three days of official training runs at the Rosa Kutor resort, World Cup racing begins with a men's downhill and super-combined Saturday and Sunday, followed by the same events for women a week later.
The competitions represent the first major test events for the Sochi Games, which will be held exactly two years later, from Feb. 7-23, 2014.
''We only give them one test so that it works,'' said men's World Cup director Gunter Hujara. ''If we gave them two chances, then the first would not achieve much.''
Sochi organizers are determined to show they will be ready.
''We are in good shape. We collected all necessary resources and we did our internal testing not to lose the face to the world,'' Sochi organizing committee chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said. ''What will be considered a funny moment or will be ...