Life's a beach at the Winter Olympics

The Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Forget the parkas and stocking hats. Sunscreen and shades are the must-have items at the Sochi ''Winter'' Games.

The temperature soared to 63 degrees (17 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday, prompting Olympic visitors to grab a nap on a bench outside a venue or hit the nearby beach for some impromptu sunbathing and even a dip in the Black Sea.

Forecasts call for the warm temperatures to remain for the next couple of days.

Organizers say they're getting exactly what they expected from Sochi's subtropical climate. Sure, it is making life difficult for the skiers and snowboarders slushing through their runs on the mountain. But for thousands of fans and workers in this resort town, the warmth has been a welcome getaway from harsh winters elsewhere.

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