POSTED: April 15th 2010

Next step for Chernyshenko is putting a smile on the face of Sochi Games

Dmitri Chernyshenko: putting lessons into practice / lake images
Dmitri Chernyshenko: putting lessons into practice / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE & LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/LONDON, Apr 15: Sochi claims to be on time, on track, on target and on budget to deliver the platform for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Now its bid team must plot how to breathe vibrant life into the Games.

A co-ordination commission from the International Olympic Committee has just handed Sochi a pat on the back for progress towards the first Russian Winter Games. But Dmitri Chernyshenko, the organizing president and ceo, knows that ultimate success depends on an overall approach to match the construction companies’ 24-hour work patterns.

Chernyshenko spent significant time at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and was impressed by the passion and enthusiasm generated by the host city and nation.

He said: “The major lesson was the need for proper advance planning. In Vancouver in the first few days they had to face every possible challenge but they were very strong.

"Also, however, there is the atmosphere you have to create: this an area we have to learn from. I remember how open and friendly and hospitable the people were and we have to long way to go to create the same atmosphere at the Sochi Games.”

Pricing promise

One associated challenge Chernyshenko is confident of meeting is in reassuring potential visitors – spectators, officials, etc – about affordability.

All recent international sporting events have been and are being affected, in attendance terms, by the effects of the global financial crisis. However Chernyshenko said that Russian airline and partner Aeroflot would be offering “special rates for spectators from all around the world.”

He also promised accommodation price control through agreements signed with local hotels guaranteeing the provision of around 42,000 beds. “They will keep to the figures in our candidature file,” said Chernyshenko.

He was speaking in the wake of the latest visit by the IOC coordination commission chaired by Jean-Claude Killy.

This was its first full visit since last May and Killy said: “The work being undertaken is awe-inspiring. With 43 construction sites operational 24 hours a day, employing around 16,000 workers, we are looking at one of Europe’s biggest and most ambitious construction projects, and I am pleased to report that work is on schedule.”

Impressive progress

However he added: “We reminded the organisers that they need to continue moving forward in some areas, including accommodation, workforce recruitment and training, and construction, but we are confident that the project is on track and are impressed with the progress they have made over the past year.”

During a three-day visit starting on Tuesday, the commission toured venues in Sochi and neighbouring Krasnaya Polyana, and received updates from the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee on topics ranging from athletes and media services to transport and culture.

Killy and IOC Games executive director Gilbert Felli also shared a video-conference update with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The next commission visit has been set for October 12-14.

Keywords · Sochi · 2014 Winter Olympics · Chernyshenko · IOC · Killy · Vancouver

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Laura Walden ()

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