Russia's Hiring Shamans to Make Sure the Winter Olympics Has Snow

By Ashley Feinberg on at

It might seem strange for Russia to be concerned about its snow stock considering the country's reputation as a frozen, subarctic tundra. But the country also just so happens to be hosting the upcoming Winter Olympics in one of its sole subtropical destinations, Sochi. So what are they to do? Send in the shamans, naturally.

According to Russian sports site, none other than Olympic organising committee chief Dmitry Chernyshenko took it upon himself to call in a few Altai shamans–Siberian spiritual guides–who'll be conducting a special ceremony to ensure that the typically sunny resort somehow brings snow in time for the games.

Of course, should the Shaman's prayer not be heard, there are a few backups on hand. Over 500 artificial snow machines are being supplied with water from two man-made lakes, and organizers have even been stockpiling snow—half a million cubic meters worth—in refrigerated warehouses just in case.

So barring some major disaster, the events should hopefully go off without a hitch. Which is fortunate because the chances of the shamans' prayers being heard from underneath Sochi's many thriving palm trees seems slim to none. [ via]

Image: Flickr/arzarubin