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Date [ 2014-01-20, 05:28 ]

Preparations are well under way to host the games at Sochi.

Vebue for skiing -Krasnaya Polyana.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Ramani Rathir = Russia gets to host the 22nd Winter Olympic Games. It will take off from February 7 – 23 by the Black Sea coast ,in the town of Sochi. Some of the events will be held in the resort town of Krasnaya Polyana. The games motto has the somewhat quirky ‘Hot Cool Yours.’

Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics are being organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC). It was selected as the host city on July 4, 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City, defeating bids from Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea. It scored 51 against South Korea’s 47. With its win, the Games will be the first Olympics in the Russian Federation since the breakup of the USSR.

The opening ceremony will be held at the Fisht Olympic Stadium with 88 participarting nations. There will be 98 events in 15 sports, of which some of the major ones are skiing, skating, ice-hockey, biathlon, curling, bobsleigh and luge..

In anticipation of the Games, Russia issued ruble banknotes last yaer.  There is also a Countdown Clock set up in the town centre to mark the days towards the Games.

The events of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held around two clusters of new venues; the Olympic Park in the Imeretin Valley on the coast of the Black Sea. The venues will be clustered around a central water basin on which the Medals Plaza will be built, with the Fisht Olympic Stadium and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance. Events involving snow will be held at Krasnaya Polyana.

The new venues include:
 
Fisht Olympic Stadium – ceremonies (opening/closing) 40,000 spectators
Bolshoy Ice Dome – ice hockey (final), 12,000 spectators
Shayba Arena – ice hockey, 7,000 spectators
Adler Arena Skating Center – speed skating, 8,000 spectators
Iceberg Skating Palace – figure skating, short track speed skating, 12,000 spectators
Ice Cube Curling Center – curling, 3,000 spectators
Main Olympic village
International broadcasting centre and main press room

Over at the ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana, the events to be held are:

Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex – Biathlon, Cross-country skiing
Rosa Khutor Extreme Park – Freestyle skiing and Snowboarding
Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort – Alpine skiing
Sliding Center Sanki – Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton
RusSki Gorki Jumping Center – Ski jumping and Nordic combined (both ski jumping and cross-country skiing on a 2 km route around the arena)
Rosa Khutor Plateau Olympic Village

So far 87 nations have qualified with at least one athlete. Currently standing in the top three are the United States (224), host Russia (218) and  Switzerland (168). Six nations: Malta, Paraguay, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga and Zimbabwe are making their Winter Olympic debut. An early controversey is Kristina Krone qualifying to compete in her second consecutive Games for her home country Puerto Rico, but its Olympic Committee has refused to send her to compete again.

An Olympics without a Torch Relay is not an Olympic at all. On September 29, 2013, the Olympic torch was lit in Ancient Olympia, beginning a seven-day journey across Greece and on to Russia.

On homeground, the relay started in Moscow on October7, 2013. It is currently scheduled to pass 83 Russian cities and arrivie at Sochi on the day of the opening ceremony, February 7, 2014This will make it the longest torch relay in Olympic history, a 40,000-mile route that will pass through all regions of the country, from Kaliningrad in the west to Chukotka in the east.

It already reached the North Pole for first time via a nuclear-powered icebreaker. Another first was the passing of the torch in open space. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky passed it at the outlet of the International Space Station. The torch also climbed Europe's highest mountain Mount Elbrus, and sank to the depths of Siberia's Lake Baikal.

In preparation for the games, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power and transportation infrastructures of the region. A start has been made with the opening of the Sochi Media Center with the aim of providing round-the-clock assistance to the media.

Correspondents will be able to receive up-to-the-minute and exclusive information about the Games, watch award ceremonies and interviews by athletes and coaches, and video link-ups from news conferences at the Main Media Center and the Mountain Media Center. Events will be broadcast live on big screens. Accredited media representatives will be able to attend press events, video conferences, cultural events and presentations.

Well equipped with modern multimedia facilities, the press hall can accommodate up to 250 representatives of various media, including print media, radio, online media, photo journalists and bloggers. There will be over 400 workstations (booths) for TV journalists, stand-up points with city views in the background, and teleconferences with the central press centers in the Mountain Cluster and the Olympic Park. Regular updates of competition results will be provided.

While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, making the 2014 Winter Olympics the most expensive in Olympics history.

The lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics were plagued by several major controversies, including allegations of corruption leading to the severe cost overruns experienced by the Games, along with concerns from politicians and athletes over the effects of Russia's ban on "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" on the Games, whatever that meant.

With an average February temperature of 8.3 °C (42.8 °F) and a humid subtropical climate, Sochi will be the warmest city to have hosted a Winter Olympic Games. It will also be the 12th straight Olympics to outlaw smoking; all Sochi venues, Olympic Park bars and restaurants and public areas will be smoke-free during the Games.

After the Olympics, a Formula One street circuit is planned for the site. The deal to hold the Russian Grand Prix was signed on 14 October 2010, and runs from 2014 to 2020. The first race will take place after the Closing Ceremony of the Games, but the IOC has announced that the race will be delayed until 2015 if construction of the circuit interferes with preparations for the 2014 Olympics.

abc@koreanpress
The chosen three mascots.

Rubles specially minted for the Games.

Sochi_residents_celebrate_IOC's_decision_to_hold_2014_Winter_Olympics_in_Sochi

The Counterdown Clock at the town centre..

WCommons

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