Sochi warms up for the Winter Olympics

With 2014 fast approaching, many keen sports travellers are gearing up to head to Southern Russia for the thrills of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi which will be held between the 7th and 23rd of February 2014. This much-anticipated event will play host to a total of 98 events, across 15 disciplines.

Sochi

2 weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin lit the Olympic flame in an elaborate ceremony in Red Square, the torch having been escorted through Moscow city centre by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, accompanied by hundreds of motorcyclists of the “Night Wolves” biking group. Unfortunately this huge escort couldn’t protect the torch from the elements, as it was eventually extinguished at one point by a strong gust of wind. Fortunately an official was on-hand with his cigarette lighter to save the day. The torch will now complete a 123 day marathon, covering over 65,000km to every corner of this vast country, before returning to Sochi in time for the opening ceremony on 7th February.

Sochi itself is a large resort city in the south-west of the country, on the shores of the Black Sea. Famed more for its summer activities than winter, many questioned why the games were being given to such a generally temperate climate, which a couple of years ago had an almost entirely snowless skiing season. The authorities have assured the community that they can handle it, and have even resorted to extreme measures such as storing snow from last year under blankets in vast mounds, just in case they need it. And not only will the Sochi games be the warmest offer, they will also be by far the most expensive, with an estimated cost of $50 billion, due to the large scale construction of venues and redevelopment of the area.

The city of Sochi, often known as Russia’s “Summer capital” is large and diverse, with a population of around 350,000 people mainly stimulated by domestic travellers, making it the largest resort city in Russia. A bustling nightlife and huge variety of modern, comfortable hotels await visitors from all around the world as they descend on the shores of the Black Sea.

Kristi Rorison is Director of Outgoing Business at IntoRussia.

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