Goodwill Games: Skaters left on thin ice

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The Independent Online
BRITISH RAIL became a laughing stock when they complained about the wrong sort of snow, and now the organisers of the Goodwill Games face similar ridicule because they always seem to have the wrong sort of water.

First it was water the colour of pea soup in the main pool, forcing the swimming to be postponed. Now it is water which will not freeze - and staging ice skating without any ice is not easy.

In a city that suffers bitterly cold winters, the organisers do not appear to have allowed for the fact that the Games are being staged in the height of summer.

When the boxing finished at the Yubileiny Palace of Sports on Saturday the concrete floor of the building was flooded. The water should have been frozen in time for the start of the speed skating today but hot weather has slowed the process, leaving the rink a mess of slush.

A practice session yesterday was switched to a nearby rink but conditions there were little better, with the ice soft and brown-coloured. 'It looks like it has been mixed with oil,' the American pairs skater Lance Travis said. 'It's got a weird texture to it.'