Browsing Category: "Olympics 2014"

Hotels are taking reservations for year 2014

Olympics 2014 July 7th, 2007

Radisson SAS “Lazurnaya” had accepted its first reservation for the Olympics dates. The person who made the reservation is Mikhail Seslavinsky, head of the Russian Federal Press and Mass Communications Agency. As he says, he made the reservation as a private citizen, after talking to his wife and two kids.

Some Olympics related news

Development, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi News July 7th, 2007

News stories that caught my eye; some are new, some are updated:

  • Over $622 million are allocated for Sochi program for the rest of this year from federal budget. Next year this sum will be $1.2 bln, and in 2009-2014 around $1 bln every year. Additional funds will be allocated in Krasnodar Regon’s and Sochi’s budgets, and more money will come from private investments.
  • Business delegation from Belgium and Luxemburg will visit Sochi in May 2008 to learn about the opportunities in preparation for the Olympics. They are interested in construction, construction materials and hi-tech infrastructure projects.
  • Second hydroelectric power station in Krasnaya Polyana will be completed by 2010 and will comply with all environmental requirements, including requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, three billion dollars – a quarter of the promised 12 billion dollars investments, will be spent on upgrading Sochi’s energy sector. And this is a good thing, if you’ll remember this year’s (and every year’s) power outages in Sochi. All planned energy related projects are promised to be completed by year 2012.
  • Around $117 million will be spent on four telecommunications projects in Sochi.
  • Over 50 000 police officers will be ensuring safety in Sochi during the Olympics — that’s three and a half times fewer than during Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. Large role will be given to the hi-tech tools, such as state of the art video surveillance systems and new systems setup around the city with direct lines to the police.
  • Three backup airports will be built for the Olympics in Russia’s South: in Gelendzhyk (another Back Sea resort north of Sochi), Mineralnye Vody (“Mineral Waters”, a … mineral waters resort :)), and Krasnodar (region’s capital). Sochi’s airport will be upgraded to accept any size aircraft in almost any weather conditions.

Backup airports for Olympics in Sochi
Backup airports for 2014 Winter Olympics

Three days later: news overview

Events, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi News July 7th, 2007

Wow! As you can imagine the news media of all sorts as well as regular people in blogs and forums are talking about our Olympic bid’s success. The win’s Pros and Cons arguments seem even more heated than before the vote: new infrastructure vs environmental worries, higher salaries vs high inflation, pride and recognition vs prospects of weaker foreign policy, ability vs inability to complete construction on time, international spotlight vs corruption – you name it, its been talked about. Whose shares went up? What will happen to people who live in and around the areas of constructions? What will happen to the “Olympic” money? Will the Olympics be profitable? Will it become’s Putin’s project for the upcoming years (after he leaves office next year after second term as President)? Both optimists and pessimists know all the answers, and they are completely opposite :) The truth, as always, lays somewhere in between. But everybody agrees – making this Olympics a success is a big exam for Russia.

I’ll try to avoid covering the arguments about all this questions as right now all of it is just speculations and personal views, and will stick to the facts.

So, how did Russia react to Sochi’s win? Mostly with shock and cheer! A lot of people, even the one’s who really wanted the win, did not believe in it. I’ve read that Russian betting offices lost over 10 million rubles (~$390 000). Betting is not that popular in Russia, but the point is they burned on this. A lot of people feel pride (so do I :)), and most are lost in guesses on how and how much this will change Russia’s South, and people’s lives.

July 5th (because of the time difference, it was 5th in Sochi when results were announced in Guatemala) will very likely become an official holiday in Sochi, this idea is already being proposed by Sochi’s mayor, Viktor Kolodyazhny. Russian businesses celebrated this victory with enthusiasm and introducing “olympic” sales. For example Russia’s biggest online store introduced 20% off almost all items for purchases on July 5th ans 6th, several travel agencies introduced lower rates to Sochi for those who’ll order next 10 days, “Ural airlines” introduced special “Olympic” rate for people going to Sochi for it’s development — from construction workers and engineers to sportsmen and their trainers, etc.

Anyways, I’ll keep an eye on the developments and keep you posted ;)

Sochi: Day of work on July 5th

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 4th, 2007

Sochi’s mayor, Viktor Kolodyazhny, has officially declared July 5th a day off!

As a reminder, the July 4th was also official day of work in Sochi. Enjoy while it lasts, Sochi, ‘cause considering amount of work that needs to be done to get ready for the Olympics, this maybe the last day off you’ll have in years! : )


Sochi residents are awating 2014 Olympics Host election
July 4th: Sochi residents awating for the election time, several concerts and other events around the city juced up the anticipation.
Photo (C)

President of IOC announces Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics winner
President of the IOC announces official Host City of the XXII Winter Olympic Games — it is Sochi!
Photo (C) AP

Sochi Is Official 2014 Winter Olympics Host City!!!

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 4th, 2007

Ohhhh yeeeeaaaaahh!!!! :o)

The 2014 Olympics Host City is selected – which one is it?!

Olympics 2014 July 4th, 2007

The Salzburg has been eliminated and the second voting round is complete. The winner will be announced in less then an hour. Which one is it — Sochi or PyeongChang?!

Elections day: Presentations are over

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 4th, 2007

Watched most or Sochi’s presentation, passed out right before Salzburg presentation and woke up to see second half of the PyeongChang presentation. I’ve never seen final Olympic bid presentations before, but it looks to me like they mostly focus not on Olympics, but on the effect of the Games and what it will leave behind. Sochi’s focus is region’s development for the future, as well as legacy (mostly material, venues and such) it leaves for the children for sports, and for Winter Sports to have another great place to held competitions.

The PyeongChang focused on unification of Koreas. I wonder what Salzburg’s team was focusing on? The Korean point of peace between 2 Koreas is awesome, I agree. But I don’t see any reason this will significantly improve relationship between two Koreas, and it‘s not just competitor’s talk. Yes, I know that South Korea is always trying to take steps toward improving relationship with North, if I remember correctly they even had US military base moved away from the border with North Korea. And they also agreed with North to march as single Korea during opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics – but that’s it! South Korea recently hosted Soccer World Cup (together with Japan), which some argue even greater event then Olympics itself! (I’d disagree on this, though) How did that change the relationship with North? Unfortunately, it didn’t. And looking on their recent reaction on North Korean missile tests, I can’t say I believe the borders can open in seven years, even under pressure (and there’s really no pressure. The only pressure is on South Korean government which takes this promise upon itself).

As far as presentations, I liked Sochi’s presentation better than PyeongChang’s, more pictures and maps of what it will be like, and they even made a nice “one day at the Olympics” tour, showing how it may look for a family who came to Sochi for the Olympics, showing distances and travel times, and how it would look. Unfortunately I missed Putin’s speech, but I liked all Russian speeches that I saw – most of them are Olympic winners, and everyone had a personal story on how the Olympics had affected their lives, it was really great. The Koreans didn’t have anything like that (which, of course, doesn’t mean they don’t have Olympians whose lives were changed by their achievements in sports).

The bottom line is I don’t believe these presentations will change much, I think most IOC members already know who they’ll vote for. And of course you all know where my vote goes :)
Meanwhile, according to the news reports 30 000 “sochincev” (Sochi residents) are right now on the streets awaiting for the elections and the decision. Today was official day off work in Sochi…

Watch 2014 Olympics Host City Elections Online!

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 3rd, 2007

Wednesday, 4 July 2007: A live webcast of the 2014 Candidate Cities’ presentations to the 119th IOC Session, as well as the announcement ceremony of the Host City for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, will be available at the official IOC website!

The short opening ceremony following by Sochi’s presentation will start at 9am local Guatemala time, that is 10 am US ST time.

Links to the live feeds of the events »

Sochi-2014 arriving to Guatemala

Sochi-2014 left for Guatemala

Olympics 2014, Sochi News June 24th, 2007

Ten days left to the day when the 2014 Winter Olympics host city will official be selected. Sochi is one of three official candidate cities, and Sochi delegation will be the first one to have 45 minutes presentation. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend and take part in presentation.

Sochi-2014 delegation left on Friday for Guatemala, where the voting will take place on July 4th. The official host city will be announced at 17:00 local time – that is 6pm US EST time, 23:00/11pm in London and 3:00 July 25th in Moscow.

Root for Sochi! :)

Maria Sharapova Backs Sochi 2014 Olympic Bid

Olympics 2014, People May 9th, 2007

International tennis star Maria Sharapova has thrown her support behind Sochi’s bid for the 2014 Olympic Winter games.

The 20 year-old has won both Wimbledon and the US Open, and was the first Russian player to top the WTA rankings.

“I lived [in Sochi] for five years” Sharapova told in an exclusive interview from Los Angeles, “Sochi is an amazing city and I don’t think a lot of people realize it will be such an incredible experience.

Sharapova said her love of tennis began when she was four years old in Sochi.

“I actually left there to go to America because I couldn’t develop my tennis skills because in winter time there wasn’t a lot of facilities.

She hopes that the Winter Olympics will leave a legacy of sports facilities for young athletes so they won’t have to leave their country and city to train for their chosen sport as she was forced to do.

“It’s a beautiful city and I’m so proud of it. I always tell my friends in America I want to take you there, I want to show you where I grew up.”

The rest of this article is at »

Sochi News Summary (Mar-Apr)

Olympics 2014, Sochi News April 8th, 2007

  • Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov assured that security will be guaranteed in the event of Olympics in Sochi, replying to western newspapers’ comments about “explosive Caucasus region”. He said that 20 000 policemen, plus border guards, and special army units in the mountains will be ensure safety of the event. He also reminded about all the high-level events that are talking in Sochi, such as President’s Putin meetings with leaders of G8 and EurAsEC (EuroAsian Economic Community).
  • Virtual non-existence of Olympic objects in Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi), what head of the International Olympic Committee called “a minus”, American architects call “a plus”. Its better to make all projects to comply to all the requirements of the IOC, international sports federation, environmental groups, etc., then to modernize existing to comply to these requirements, which will definitely will be needed to be done for the Olympic Games.
  • Roger McCarthy, Co-President of the Vail Resorts’ Mountain Division, and Chief Operating Officer of Breckenridge – one of North America’s best winter resorts, will join Russian “Interros” company as Chief Operating Officer overseeing the development strategy of “Rosa Khutor” resort in Krasnaya Polyana.
  • Sailing Cup of Russia took place in Sochi this week.
  • High speed trains will begin operating in Russia by 2012, said the president of «Russian Railways» on his trip to Japan. Right now only two routes are planned: Moscow — St. Petersburg, and Moscow — Sochi, in case of the Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana. High speed trains are trains traveling with speeds over 250-300 km/hr.

New ecological initiatives

Development, Olympics 2014, Sochi News March 31st, 2007

Ecology council “Sochi-2014” has approved additional ecological initiatives which will become part of Federal Targeted Program for Sochi.

Among approved initiatives are development of complex system for water supply and water drainage, creation of educational and scientific centers that are focused on ecology, development of program to use renewable energy sources, creation of rehabilitation center for wild animals, and development of a system for complex ecological monitoring. It also includes programs for total waste utilization and zero-carbon balance.

Program for waste utilization assumes complete utilization of solid domestic and biological waste in the whole city. For the realization of this program all current waste dumps will be closed and land restored. New plants will be built for ecological waste disposal and recycling.

Zero-carbon balance program will be realized by using energy saving technologies on all objects of the energy infrastructure, each of which will be modernized to be able to use renewable sources of energy. Quotas will be imposed on the amount of greenhouse gases produced.

Complex system of ecological monitoring will be created to monitor environment during construction of Olympic projects. It will include regular inspections of construction sites and satellite monitoring. Special attention will be focused on monitoring Sochi National Park and its surroundings.

Wow, Sochi’s going greener than ever :) Exciting stuff…

After IOC visit more Russians believe its possible for Sochi to win 2014 Olympic bid

Olympics 2014, Russia March 14th, 2007

61% or Russians believe Sochi has better chances to win 2014 Olympics bid then its competitors, Salzburg and PyeongChang. 11% believe in Salzburg’s chances, and 5% in PyeongChang’s. This was revealed during most recent survey by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM). Same survey showed that 81% of Russians thinks that it is important that 2014 Olympics will take place in Sochi, 43% of which think its “very important”, and 38% think its “rather important”.

Last year’s survey showed that only 45% of Russians believed in Sochi’s chances.

Sochi residents will be well compensated

Development, Olympics 2014 February 25th, 2007

Krasnodar Krai governor Aleksandr Tkachev said during a press conference in Sochi that people, whose houses are located on the land where Olympic projects are planned, will be compensated, “their houses will be bought using real market prices”. The real market prices jumped incredibly in this region (as well as in Big Sochi and all neighbouring regions).

“There are very few of such buildings – about 3%, and theoretically, they will have to be demolished… Our projects and solutions are ready. But I want to stress, that nothing will be done without consent of our citizens. No mass demolition will be done” – said governor Tkachev.

He also said that up to 150 families may be affected. And that those families that built their houses illegally(*) are being helped to legalize their property, so if necessary they can get compensation.

(*) some people in Russia built houses first, with hopes to legalize them later, though the courts or bribes. Unfortunately this was not uncommon in Russia, especially in the 90’s. But with our new minister of ecology and for some other reasons this has become a risky business.

As I wrote before, people who live in the Imeritinskaya Valley, where Olympic stadiums are planned, are concerned that they will loose their houses and not be compensated according to the value. The concerns come after several recent similar conflicts between Moscow gov’t and Moscow residents.

Interesting thing happened with these people during IOC visit. “Greens”, who are protesting against Olympics in Sochi, included them to their group for the meeting with IOC commitee last week, but later had taken them of that list. “We think that “greens” wanted to use us in their protests against the Olympics in Sochi. But they took us from their list after they found out that we are not against the Olympics, and that we just want to protect our rights…” – said one of the residents.

IOC commission completed its tour of Sochi

Olympics 2014 February 25th, 2007

“Sochi bid doesn’t have weak spots. Maybe some questions and issues that need to be resolved” – said Chiharu Igaya, head of the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission during final press conference after weeklong inspection of Sochi’s 2014 bid. He said, “there are so many venues and facilities to be built in the future. You’ve got only seven years to go. To coordinate all of these works may be a challenge”.

As strong sides of the bid were named strong public and political support, and Sochi’s unique geographical location. They also said that they are confident that Russia can provide solid security for the Olympics.