Sochi Prepares for 2014 Winter Olympics

With a little more than fourteen months to go before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the construction of brand-new stadiums and other facilities are reportedly running ahead of schedule. Located on the Black Sea coastline in Russia‘s Krasnodar Krai, Sochi is the country’s largest resort city, popular with both domestic and international tourists. As the host city in 2014 for the XXII Olympic Winter Games, the XI Paralympic Winter Games, and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Sochi is set to receive an unprecedented influx of tourists, and authorities are confident the city will be up to the challenge.

The Winter Olympics venues will be in walking distance from one another and will be grouped around a lake featuring the Medals Plaza. The venues, which are all newly constructed, include the Bolshoi Ice Dome which can accommodate 12,000 spectators and will host the ice hockey final; the Shayba Arena hosting ice hockey and accommodating 7,000 spectators; the Adler Arena Skating Center hosting speed skating and accommodating 8,000 spectators; the Iceberg Skating Palace hosting figure skating and short track speed skating with seating for 12,000 spectators; the Ice Cube Curling Center and the Fisht Olympic Stadium hosting the opening and closing ceremonies with seating for 40,000 spectators.

Skiing, snowboarding, bobsleigh and luge venues for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics include the Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex on the slopes of Psekhako Ridge; the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort in the Western Caucasus; the Sliding Center Sanki in Rzhanaya Polyana; and the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center in Esto-Sadok village situated on the northern slope of Aibaga Ridge.

Winter sport disciplines featured in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics program include Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combines; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton Sledding; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; and Speed Skating. The following events are being considered for inclusion in the official program having been submitted by their respective federations: Figure Skating Team event, Women’s Ski Jumping; Ski Half-Pipe; Team Relay Luge and Mixed Relay Biathlon.

Events to take place in the new venues prior to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics include the Figure Skating Grand Prix Finale on December 6-9 in the Iceberg Skating Palace, and the Under-18 Ice Hockey World Championship in the Bolshoi Ice Dome in April 2013.