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SOCHI, Russia — Welcome to the Winter-ish Olympics.

"When we left Calgary, it was 30 below," said Ross Bucsis, father of Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis. "So this has been unbelievable."

"It's like summer," his wife Anita said.

Indeed, when the temperature hit a sun-splashed 61 degrees at mid-day in Olympic Park on the edge of the Black Sea, it was warmer than the forecasted high Monday in 17 of the 22 cities that have previously hosted Summer Olympics.

Though Sochi's subtropical climate was not a secret leading up to the games – and in fact, was enough of a concern that the local organizing committee stockpiled 500,000 cubic meters of snow under custom tarps just in case – it has lived up to its reputation and then some.

Even in Krasnaya Polyana, the hub for the mountain events, the temperature reached 55 degrees Monday before a light layer of clouds rolled in and brought in slightly cooler weather.

"This is probably the sunniest place in Russia and we've seen great weather so that allowed us to have a lot of people in the park," Sochi organizing committee spokesperson Aleksandra Kosterina said.

Still, it's somewhat jarring to come to an almost jacket-optional Winter Olympics, and the impact is being felt in several sports.

Tuesday's training for the men's super combined downhill was postponed from Tuesday morning until Thursday. Cross-country skiers, who race for medals in both the men's and women's sprint free finals Tuesday, tested equipment and experimented with wax application. It has also made the halfpipe, already under criticism from riders for its design structure, something of a wildcard. And the warm weather has forced adjustments for skeleton teams, who typically carry multiple sets of blades since the hardness of the ice can change based simply on whether the competition takes place during the day or at night.

PHOTOS: WARM WEATHER IN SOCHI

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"The ice conditions are interesting because the weather is so different," U.S. skeleton's Katie Uhlaender said. "It's warm, so sometimes there's a top layer on the ice, but they're really figuring out how to make hard ice underneath that. So it's deciding whether or not you want to cut down to that hard ice or stay on top.

"It's really going to depend on what the humidity is, the outside temperature and what they're doing with the refrigeration."

The IOC said it does not keep day-by-day temperature records of previous Olympics, but it certainly harkens back to the unseasonably warm temperatures in Vancouver that required snow to be trucked in for the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.

After heavy, warm rains washed away nearly a foot of snow at Cypress Mountain, part of the spectator area for the snowboard venue had to be closed due to safety concerns.

Sunnier weather, however, isn't necessarily bad for every competitor. American Julia Mancuso won a bronze medal in the women's super combined Monday, taking advantage of conditions more reminiscent of Squaw Valley, Calif., where she is based.

"This is Julia's kind of weather," said her mother, Andrea Mancuso Webber. Had she ever seen her daughter ski in warmer conditions? "I'm trying to think," she said. "The U.S. Nationals is in March. Maybe there."

The weather has certainly been a plus for the fans, who could linger in Olympic Park all afternoon without needing to huddle up somewhere inside.

"That's been more of a surprise than anything (in Sochi)," said Kayla Eiler, a Ball State student from McCordsville, Ind., where the high was 16. "Not having to take off your coat when you go through security makes it easier to move around."

It appears the warmth is here to stay, at least through this week. Though Tuesday will likely bring some rain and cooler temperatures, Accuweather.com projects sunny skies and right around 60 degrees the rest of the week, with the possibility to get up to 66 on Thursday.

"That was the California sun I felt up there on that hill," Mancuso said after winning her medal.

Contributing: Kelly Whiteside, Jeff Zillgitt and Erik Brady

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