On Thursday (February 4) men of Japan's Ground Self-Defence Forces were putting the finishing touches to the bobsleigh run for the International pre-Olympic Winter Games meeting at Sapporo.
MV starting post of bobsleigh run
CU starting gate--ZOOM into --run
LV PAN run with workers preparing it
MV workmen preparing walls of run
LV results board
LV Skaters practising on track (2 shots)
TV PAN outdoor rink
MV skiers practising cross country run (3 shots)
Initials PS/1754 PS/1825 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: On Thursday (February 4) men of Japan's Ground Self-Defence Forces were putting the finishing touches to the bobsleigh run for the International pre-Olympic Winter Games meeting at Sapporo. The following day, skaters and skiers were having their final practice before the start of the meeting -- the first to be held at the new GBP10 million Winter Olympic Games site.
SYNOPSIS: The ten and half million pound Winter Olympic games site at Sapporo in Northern Japan was receiving its final touches on Thursday in readiness for the International meeting being held there this week. Men of Japan's Ground Self-Defence Forces -- on loan to the Sapporo Olympic Organisation Committee -- were preparing the bobsleigh run which will be used by teams from 23 countries during the eight-day event.
The Makomanai speed-skating rink -- which was used for the opening ceremony of the meeting on Sunday -- was available for last-minute practice on Friday. Here skaters from North and South Korea met on the ice; the North Koreans -- in darker jackets -- had to be given special permission by the Japanese Government to take part in the games, as the two countries have no diplomatic relations. The outdoor rink has a seating capacity of 50,000 and will house the Olympic flame in a specially designed dais.
While the downhill skiing course at Mount Eniwa is showing rocks through thin snow at points,, the best snow lies here on the cross-country courses in rolling hills not far from the Makomanai ice-rinks. The course is 37 kilometres long and was constructed to meet Olympic standards at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds. More than 250 skiers will be using these slopes during the pre-Olympic Winter Games.