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Sochi Figure Skating Venue Unlikely to Be Turned Into Velodrome

Sochi's Olympic figure skating venue, the Iceberg Skating Palace, is unlikely to be transformed into a velodrome as initially planned, a cycling official said Thursday.

The 12,000-seater venue is one of six arenas in the coastal cluster of facilities on Russia's Black Sea coastline, and legacy plans had envisaged a new future as the center of the country's track cycling program.

The president of Russia's Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, said on Feb. 23 — the last day of the Games – that its final function was yet to be decided and Vladimir Vagenleitner, who is responsible for cycling development in the Krasnodar region where Sochi is located, elaborated on the situation Thursday.

"There's a government decree to reconstruct the Iceberg [into a velodrome] — our federation's specialists are working on it. A project will obviously be carried out, but will the reconstruction take place? We can suppose with a great deal of certainty that the Iceberg ice arena will remain an ice arena," Vagenleitner said.

"But we will still push for the creation of infrastructure to develop cycling in this region," he added.

Across the board, legacy plans for the newly built Olympic facilities have changed several times since Sochi won the bid for the Games in 2007.

There is uncertainty over the idea to turn two hockey arenas into an $8 million-a-year children's sport academy, and three venues that were designed to be dismantled and moved elsewhere will instead all stay in place under current specifications.

Under existing plans, the new All-Russian Children's Sport and Health Center will occupy the 7,000-capacity Shaiba hockey arena, also known as the Small Arena, which has hosted women's hockey during the Games, and the hockey training hall.

The Fisht Olympic Stadium will become a venue for the 2018 football World Cup, while the main hockey arena, the Bolshoi Ice Dome, looks likely to host a Kontinental Hockey League professional hockey team.

The main long-track speedskating venue, the Adler Arena, is to be an exhibition center, while the 3,000-capacity Ice Cube Curling Center is envisaged as a training facility after earlier plans for a move to Moscow were dropped.

In the mountains, the Alpine venues will revert to being ski resorts or training centers for Russia's national teams in various sports.

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