Did you know that clutches may play a large role in the 2014 Olympics Games in Sochi, Russia?

This upcoming February, The XXII Winter Olympics will be taking place in Sochi, Russia – making it the first time that the Russian Federation will be hosting the games, as the Soviet Union hosted the previous in Moscow back in 1980. Separated into two clusters – the events will be divided into ice and mountain events, making travel time about 30 minutes between the coastal and mountain cluster. This makes the 2014 Winter Olympics the most compact in the history of the games.

During the winter Olympics, skiing is one of the largest events to take place. Some of the skiing event competitions include alpine, slalom, giant slalom, freestyle, cross-country, and Nordic combined skiing (ski jumping and cross country skiing combined.) When it comes to skiing, one thing people may not realize is that clutches can play a large role in maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of ski lifts. Used as a backup if a power failure in the ski lift occurs, the clutch would start up after the malfunction and engage and start the drive in the lift. Without clutches, athletes would be stranded if a problem were to occur.

Because of the uncertainty of the weather that can occur at the Winter Olympics, Sochi began storing snow back in 2012, just in case there isn’t enough snow to fill the landscape come February. Those who organized the effort stored 16 million cubic feet of snow in anticipation of the games and the ski village at Sochi, which was all completed with the use of snow blowers that can be powered by clutches and water from lakes nearby.

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