POSTED: September 25th 2012
Sochi 2014: 500 days out and counting down to the opening of the next winter Games
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
September 25 – All of Russia was alive with excitement as the Sochi 2014 Games reached their 500th day counting mark to the opening of the first winter Olympics.
A series of sports events and celebrations were held in 17 cities, culminating with an all-Russia national flashmob as volunteers gathered from 26 Volunteer Centers, representing 14 of the country's regions.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Games, 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."
In addition to the flashmob, 12,000 volunteers met to construct the brand new graphic pictograms that represent all 22 images of the Olympic sports.
Also 500 meter relays were staged in the cities to commemorate the 500 day count down to the start of the Games. This idea won the All-Russian Contest "Scenario for a city event: 500 days to the Games" and was submitted by Margarita Zharkova and Andrei Botsulko. Each city organized a different type of sport relay ranging from ice hockey, to snowboarding, to speed skating and to bobsleigh.
The largest celebration was taking place in Krasnodar where 2,000 Sochi 2014 volunteers formed 5 pictograms on Theater Square: "Bobsleigh", "Skeleton", "Cross-country skiing", "Freestyle cross-country skiing" and "Ski Jumping".
Next was Metropolitan Moscow where 1,600 volunteers completing 4 pictogram puzzles at the All-Russian Exhibition Center: "Speed Skating", "Figure Skating", "Half-pipe Snowboarding" and "Snowboard Cross".
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