What we can expect from Sochi

Last updated 05:00 04/02/2014
 Scotty Stevenson and Hayley Holt
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READY FOR SOCHI: Scotty Stevenson and Hayley Holt

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Best known as a rugby presenter, Scotty Stevenson will be joining Hayley Holt in guiding Kiwis through the 2014 Winter Olympic Games coverage from Sochi on Sky Sport and Prime over the next few weeks. James Croot quizzed him on what we can expect.

What event are you most looking forward to seeing at Sochi?
I'll be based in the coastal cluster while my colleague Hayley Holt will be in the alpine village, so from my point of view I am looking forward to some great ice hockey and some figure skating. Yes, seriously, figure skating.

Which athlete would you most like to grab an interview with?
Dutch speed skater Sjinkie Knegt. I think we need to discuss the bird and its ramifications at important sporting events. It'll be hard though, I can't pronounce his name.

What do you think will be the unique aspects of these games?
Sochi's in the sub-tropics. I think snow would be a good start.  And the 60,000 security personnel offer the event some subtle welcoming touches.

Who are New Zealand's best medal prospects?
Anyone from Wanaka. Take your pick - there are eight of them in the team of 15.

What will you be doing in your downtime in Sochi?
There won't be much of that, but watching as many events live as I can.

What can you tell us about the history, geography and/or cuisine of Sochi?
It's Putin's favourite resort. It was Stalin's too. It's also considered Europe's longest city, stretching as it does for 145 kilometres down the Black Sea Coast. I could tell you a bit more, but really, how long have you got? Put it this way, people have been fighting over the place for a very, very long time.

What do you think is the best event armchair viewers have yet to discover?
Biathlon - skiing AND shooting? You had me at hello.

Any new whizzy broadcasting toys this time around?
No need. Everything's on Twitter anyway, isn't it?

Have you got a sense of what the locals might know about NZ?
As important as this fine nation is, I'm guessing not a lot.

What do you think you'll miss the most about home?
My wife and children.

Finally, and most importantly, which of the three Sochi mascots are your favourite?
Definitely Bely Mishka, the Polar Bear. For some reason his face reminds me of Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski . Did you know Russian TV had a live vote for the final mascots? It was literally Mascot Idol! Apparently the Snow Leopard got the most votes.

Sky Sport will have live and delayed coverage (and highlights) of the Sochi Winter Olympics from Thursday, February 6 until Sunday, February 24 on Sky Sport 3 to 6, as well as free-to-air on Prime.

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