Sochi, Russia: Country-wide celebrations took place across Russia on Tuesday as the hosts of the XXII Olympic Winter Games marked the milestone of 500 days to go until Sochi 2014. A host of sports and music events took place in 17 Russian cities, and more than 12,000 Sochi 2014 volunteers participated in the construction of giant Olympic pictograms in squares, stadiums and indoor sports complexes.
Each pictogram was made using square blue-white shields that the volunteers held above their heads, turning around and combining them on the command of the event director. As well as the so-called “flashmob” performances, each of the cities held a symbolic 500-metre relay representing one of the winter Olympic sports.
In Moscow, the relay represented ice hockey with participants completing the event in hockey helmets on roller blades, while in Sochi – the host city – participants demonstrated snowboarding by covering a set distance on skateboards.
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said: “We have reached another significant milestone: there are now only 500 days remaining until the XXII Olympic Winter Games.
In fact, we have entered the finishing straight in our preparations for this extremely important event in Russia's history. “I'm glad that this celebration has managed to involve, both in terms of spectacle and the scale, the whole country into Games preparations.”Source: www.olympic.org