Sochi is warmer than past Winter Olympic host cities—the seaside park will feature palm and magnolia trees—but organizers dismiss concerns about having enough snow for the games. To be safe, Russian officials have been packing reserve snow into underground storage facilities for over a year. They expect to have 250,000 cubic meters saved up by the games—an emergency backup supply in case the 430 snow machines that are being installed don’t suffice. “For the competition, anyway, the snow is always artificial,” Chernyshenko said. The snow machines Sochi installed operate in 50 degrees fahrenheit or below. “Mr. Putin told me Sochi has the best snow in the world, and I have no reason not to believe him,” former Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy, chair of the International Olympic Committee coordination commission for the Sochi games, told reporters last year.
About 30 pieces, including classical compositions, made the final roster. Arnold says they’ll be performed by around 20 household names in a show that’s “beautiful, cheeky, cheesy, camp, silly and thrilling.” Especially if it involves platform shoes and ostentatious Union Jack apparel.
Douglas ranks No. 4 in social media buzz among Olympians, after Michael Phelps, British diver Tom Daley and Ryan Lochte, according to analytics company Bluefin Labs. There were 647,000 comments about her on August 2, the day she won the All-Around gold. NBC said Monday that Douglas, nicknamed the “Flying Squirrel,” was the most-clicked athlete on its Olympics website. More than 18 million people clicked on highlights of Douglas — that’s roughly 1½ times more than the second-most viewed athlete, Michael Phelps. Based on what previous All-Around winners have taken home in endorsements, Douglas could expect to make between $8 million and $12 million over the next four years. But even Shade says that projection might be high. “Gabrielle competes in 2016, so she will not have the time to make appearances and/or endorse products as much,” Shade said. “However, the next six months will be very lucrative.” So what categories most interest the 16-year-old? Shade says she likes orange juice and peanut butter, loves technology and fashion and is ready to pitch a car brand. “She is about to get her license,” Shade said.