Sochi 2014: IOC gives thumbs up to progress and highlights the Olympic Villages
Sports Features Communications
October 12 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission had words for praise for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games preparations and announced they were especially pleased with the Olympic Villages. The commission just concluded a three day visit to the host city October 9-11 to get updates on the progress.
This winter sports season will be a key test period for the Sochi 2014 facilities. The IOC commission particularly noted most of the venues are either being used already or are nearly complete. The IOC paid special attention to the sliding center, ski jump facility, cross country and biathlon area and the coastal cluster.
The IOC examined facilities for different groups, including athletes, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, spectators, the Paralympic Games and the media. The Paralympic Games as always will follow the Olympic Games and use the same venues.
“The venues have come a long way in a relatively short period since our last visit here and we congratulate Deputy Prime Minister Kozak and Olympstroy for their work,” said IOC Chairman and champion skier Jean-Claude Killy. “We have also been impressed with the advances made in hotel construction and, in particular, transport. It all bodes well for a successful season of test events ahead, as well as for a great legacy left behind for the local population.”
This winter season more than 40 events, which will be a part of the 2014 Olympic Games, will take place across the area and be assessed. Sochi 2014 President Dmitry Chernyshenko said lessons learned in the 2012 London Olympic Games have helped Sochi organizers tremendously.
“We are currently focused on delivering the most robust test event schedule in the history of the Winter Games, with 47 different test events this season alone to check the venues and surrounding infrastructure to ensure we’re 100 percent prepared,” he said. “This month (we held) the Federation Cup figure skating tournament at the Iceberg Skating Palace. In the Sochi Olympic Park, the event was the first test in the coastal cluster and the venue attracted high levels of praise from the athletes competing.”
Torch Relay and educational program
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Committee also got high marks for the Torch Relay and the educational effort. When the Olympic Torch enters Russia, it will take a route that brings it within an hour’s travel of 90 percent of the Russian people. It will travel overall 65,000 kilometers.
The educational effort has so far reached 10 million people through more than 1,800 events. More than 600 teachers, other educational professionals and volunteers have participated in the “Train the Teacher” program.
The Cultural Olympiad has sponsored 700 events in 130 locations in Russia with nearly 1 million people attending. The Cultural Olympiad Calendar marks 2012 as the Year of Music and 2013 is the Year of Museums. Both are being incorporated into Russia’s educational effort.
On the volunteer front, Russia’s effort has seen 120,000 people apply with 4,000 of those from other countries.
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Laura Walden ()
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