SOCHI, Russia -- When NBC Charlotte’s Dave Wagner caught a gondola ride up the mountains in Sochi, he discovered why it’s home to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
A few thousand feet above the sea, you’re transferred to a winter wonderland. All of the fears about snow in Sochi are gone. But that’s there. In Olympic Park, the weather tells another story.
The subtropical side of Sochi is showing off for the games. Temperatures are hovering around 60, and fans are sporting short sleeves and short skirts.
“Oh, we brought everything warm. We brought Long Johns and jeans, and all that kind of stuff. And yet, shorts is all I really want,” Andrew, a fan from New Zealand, said.
The Bolshoy Ice Dome could go by “sun dome” these days, and even The Today Show anchors have shed their coats on set.
Ian, a spectator from London, compares the weather from these games to the Summer Games in London.
“We got a couple of nice days, but it was never this hot,” he says.
The athletes notice the difference too.
“It feels like the Spring Olympics maybe,” Aiden Kelly says.
Kelly and Tucker West are lugers competing for Team USA. They came down from the mountain one day to check out the sights.
“It’s a little colder up in the mountains, so it’s not so bad,” West says when asked about the luge track conditions. “Our track is actually refrigerated, so it maintains the ice very well.”
Sochi is forecasted to maintain the warm temperatures, and that’s good news for some. One fan told Dave she’s helping to go home with a tan.
Dave isn’t taking any chances. He’s loading up on sunscreen.