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IOC Press Release: Sochi 2014 springing to life

26 Sep 2013
Sochi, Russia: The host city of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games is abuzz with activity with a little over four months to go until the start of the Games on 7 February 2014. The organisers are busy with a number of initiatives aimed at bringing the event to life while also putting the final touches on preparations.

The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics made its 10th and final visit to the Black Sea city this week and the feedback has been positive.

“We often say that there is no time to waste as the clock ticks down to the Opening Ceremony, and this still stands true,” said Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy, summing up the three-day visit.

“But to see how far the local organisers have come over the last six years is quite simply remarkable. The competition venues are ready, the spirit of the Games is awakening here and the athletes, spectators and all others who visit next February can expect a fabulous experience.”

Test Events

The Coordination Commission visited both the mountain and coastal clusters for a first-hand assessment of the progress being made. Test events have been held at all the competition venues, while non-competition venues are nearing completion.

Operational Mode

Sochi is already in operational mode, with its Main Operations Centre up and running, full-scale testing under way and staff starting to man the venues and refine logistical aspects such as transport, accommodation and airport arrivals and departures.

Torch Relay

Meanwhile, initiatives to bring the Games to the rest of Russia are in full swing. On Sunday in Ancient Olympia, the Olympic Torch Relay for Sochi 2014 will officially get under way with the lighting of the flame at the Temple of Hera. After a seven-day journey through Greece, the flame will arrive in Moscow on 6 October to begin the longest Olympic Torch Relay in Olympic history, with 14,000 torchbearers helping to transport the flame over 65,000km in 123 days. The route has been designed to bring the flame within one hour of 90 per cent of the Russian population.

Cultural Olympiad

Awareness and interest in the Games are also on the rise thanks to initiatives such as the Cultural Olympiad, which continues to bring the Games experience to the entire country. Sochi 2014’s education programme has introduced the Olympic values to thousands of young Russians, while thousands of volunteers – recruited through 26 volunteer centres countrywide – are preparing to descend upon Sochi to make their invaluable contribution to the success of the Games next February.

Ticket Sales

Following a first phase of ticket sales earlier this year, Phase 2 of the ticketing programme for Sochi will begin soon, allowing even more Olympic fans from Russia and around the world to support their athletes in person, while Russian fans not lucky enough to get a ticket to be at the Games will be able to participate in the festivities at a number of live sites that will be set up in major cities across the country.

Innovative and Inspiring

Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 President and CEO, said: “There are many tests in the journey to prepare for an Olympic and Paralympic Games, and our stunning venues, new infrastructure and dedicated staff have passed every one. We are proud to be delivering the promises we made to the IOC by hosting a Games that will be truly innovative and inspiring.”

Olympic Legacy

The Coordination Commission noted that legacy initiatives being implemented by Sochi 2014 stand to benefit Russians for generations to come. As part of their efforts to transform Sochi from a summer resort into a year-round destination, the organisers have legacy plans in place for each competition venue.

Volunteer Spirit

Local infrastructure, including roads, rail links, electricity, sewage and water systems, has also been upgraded. The Olympic project has significantly boosted employment in construction and the services industry, while a volunteer culture is beginning to take root thanks to the massive interest shown in the volunteer programme.

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