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Fourth-Place Medal

Sochi is breaking out last year’s snow for this year’s Olympics

Jay Busbee
Fourth-Place Medal

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Via @KiritRadia_ABC

We're inside 100 days to Sochi's Olympics. Sochi's Winter Olympics. And given the fact that Sochi is generally a summer resort for Russia, there's more than a little concern about weather in the area. To prepare for the impending games, Sochi began storing snow last year in the event that this year's snowfall failed to live up to expectations.

Yes, storing snow. Through the summer. Roll with it here.

As you can see above, Kirit Radia, ABC's Moscow correspondent, came upon a cache of Sochi snow, 2012 vintage, kept cold under insulating blankets. And it looks like enough survived the summer to fuel the Snowball Fight tournament. (There is snowball fighting in the Winter Olympics, right? No? Huh. Seems a missed opportunity.)

Russia stored some 450,000 cubic yards, or about 16 million cubic feet, of snow to help prepare for the Games. As part of the $50 billion cost of the Games, the most expensive Olympics ever, Russia is also using 200 snowmakers drawing water from nearby lakes to create snow throughout the sites of the Games.

Russian meteorologists have been having trouble predicting exactly how much snow will fall next February because there is little relevant data. The only weather station in the area has been operating for only 10 years, and is located 1,600 feet below the competition slopes.

What Sochi is hoping to avoid is a repeat of the 2010 Winter Olympics, where warmer-than-expected temperatures in Vancouver left huge brown swathes of the ground exposed. Daytime temperatures were higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, preventing the creation of snow.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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