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Snow, Sun and... Sand?

Sochi’s Olympic ski slopes are an unlikely backdrop for a beach volleyball match between speed skating Olympic champion, Svetlana Zhurova and Games volunteers’

Sochi, Russia, February 20, 2014 - The Mayor of the Sochi 2014 Mountain Olympic Village and 2006 Olympic champion in speed skating, Svetlana Zhurova, took time out from her official duties today to challenge some of her volunteer team to a beach volleyball match in the Gorki Gorod Mall in the shadow of Sochi’s spectacular snow-capped mountains.

Many athletes and officials at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games have been surprised to see a beach volleyball court in the heart of Sochi 2014’s Mountain Cluster – another example of Sochi’s diversity as a winter-summer sports destination and beach volleyball’s versatility as an accessible sport that can be played just about anywhere in the world. Sochi’s Krasnaya Polyana resort is not quite Copacabana beach, but with the Olympic ski slopes towering 2,320m above, this is certainly one of the most iconic settings for beach volleyball anywhere in the world.   

Svetlana Zhurova, speed skating Olympic champion, said: “The volunteers up in the Mountain Olympic Village have been absolutely fantastic, so I wanted to give them a treat on their day off. Sochi is such a versatile sports city, and volleyball is a versatile sport. Obviously Sochi will be a national centre of excellence for our winter sports athletes after the Games, but who’s to say summer federations won’t be taking advantage of the climate and the facilities here too!”

President of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, who was in Sochi for the 126th IOC Session and the beginning of the Winter Games earlier this month, commented: “Volunteers make the Games experience. Sochi 2014’s smiling, professional and helpful team has been a credit to the Organizing Committee and a credit to Russia. And today’s little game just goes to show – volleyball really is a game for everyone, everywhere!”

The FIVB's annual Beach Volleyball World Tour begins on April 22 with the Fuzhou Open in China the first of 20 events worldwide before the World Tour concludes with the Durban Open in South Africa from December 9-14.

Click here for more information about the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

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