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  1. Madrid 2020: ‘We’ll fight for it to be our turn this time’ says Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy 18 03 2013 [11:11] ~ Madrid 2020 Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said Madrid is prepared to ‘fight’ for the opportunity to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The Spanish leader was speaking as he welcomed the International Olympics Committee (IOC)’s Evaluation Commission to the capital. He cited the city’s experience in ‘hosting big sporting events’, ‘the good weather’ and ‘excellent transport’. Mr Rajoy also pointed out that nearly 80 percent of the venues needed for the Games are ready and that the country is already a top tourist destination with 58 million visitors per year. His remarks came after an appearance on Sunday by His Royal Highness Prince Felipe to give his backing to the bid. The Prince joined Madrid Mayor Ana Botella and Alejandro Blanco, the President of the Spanish Olympics Committee and Madrid 2020, at the start of three days of IOC inspections. Led by Sir Craig Reedie, the Commission will visit key sites such as the iconic Bernabeu Stadium, Las Ventas Bullring and Retiro Park between 18 and 21 March. http://www.madrid2020.es/en/madrid-2020-well-fight-for-it-to-be-our-turn-this-time-says-prime-minister-mariano-rajoy/
  2. Ehm .. no one posted .. detailed information about the IOC Evaluation Commission visit to Madrid this week The IOC Evaluation Commission visit: the next landmark in the Olympic race 15 03 2013 [22:27] ~ Madrid 2020 The Madrid 2020 Bid is preparing for one of the most important landmarks in the race to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: next week’s visit of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission, whose members will be arriving in the Spanish capital over the weekend. Ahead lie a hectic four days in which the heads of the Madrid 2020 Bid will spend every morning detailing the various aspects of their project to the IOC’s experts and then the first part of every afternoon visiting most of the competition venues and surrounding areas. The Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, and the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), Alejandro Blanco, will welcome the members of the IOC Evaluation Commission at a reception on Sunday evening. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, will announce the start of the visit at 8.50am on Monday 18 March, and His Royal Highness Prince Felipe, Prince of Asturias, will bring it to a close at 12 noon on Thursday 21 March. In between will come a series of morning presentations on each of the 14 themes detailed in the Candidature File, as well as visits to the Bid venues and daily press conferences given by the Bid’s executives and reflecting on each day’s events. At 4.30pm on Thursday the members of the IOC Evaluation Commission will give their one and only press conference, at which they will provide an overall assessment of the visit. Monday 18 March Accompanied by the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, and CEO President Alejandro Blanco, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, will declare the visit under way at 8.50am. The first presentation, which will focus on the vision, legacy and concept of the Games, will get under way at 9am and will be coordinated by COE vice-president and Madrid 2020 Managing Director Victor Sanchez. Over the course of the next hour Botella and Blanco will set out each and every aspect of these three areas, with the assistance of the entrepreneur Andres Burdett and the show jumper [J1] Natalia Holding. A second presentation will begin at 10am. Entitled “Sports and Venues”, it will be coordinated by the Bid’s General-Director of Sport, former Olympic athlete Raul Chapado and will feature contributions by Chapado himself; Victor Sanchez; the former Olympians and current IOC members Marisol Casado and Pachi Perurena; and Ignacio Cobos, Operations Director at Bovis Lend Lease. At 11.30am the spotlight will shift to the Olympic Village presentation. Joining Victor Sanchez will be Theresa Zabell, another former Olympian and now the Bid’s International Relations CEO; the architect Javier Herreros; and Juan Manuel Fernandez and Gabriela Rosello. The Paralympic Games provide the subject for the day’s final presentation, with Raul Chapado coordinating contributions by Victor Sanchez; Spanish Paralympic Committee (CPE) President Miguel Carballeda; CPE Secretary General Miguel Sagarra; and the Paralympic swimmer and multi-medal winner Teresa Perales. At 7pm executives from the Bid will provide an update on the day’s events at a press conference. Tuesday 19 March Finance, Marketing, Public and Political Support and Legal Affairs are the four presentations on the agenda for Tuesday. Finance leads the way at 9am, with Madrid 2020 CFO Manuel Parga directing operations. Speaking along with Parga at the presentation will be Victor Sanchez; IOC Executive Board member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr; and Pierre Patrick Buffet, an analyst with PwC. Marketing, the day’s second presentation, begins at 10am, with Victor Sanchez, Antonio Garrigues, and Antonio Diaz Almagro of Accenture all taking to the floor. Next up at 11.30am is Public and Political Support, featuring contributions by the Spanish Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Jose Ignacio Wert; the President of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, Ignacio Gonzalez; Ana Botella, Alejandro Blanco and Victor Sanchez. The day’s fourth and final presentation, Legal Affairs, begins at 12.30pm. Speaking at the presentation will be the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo; Ana Botella; the Education and Employment Minister for the Autonomous Region of Madrid, Lucia Figar; Felix Plaza from the legal firm Garrigues; and Victor Sanchez. Executives from the Madrid 2020 Bid will bring the day to a close with a press conference at 7pm. Wednesday 20 March Taking part in the 9am presentation “Accommodation” will be the General Manager of the Madrid 2020 Foundation, Ignacio Fernandez; the Autonomous Region of Madrid’s Director General of Tourism, Joaquin Castillo; the President of the Madrid Hoteliers’ Association, Jesus Gatell; and the Head of Accommodation for London 2012 Organising Committee, Donna Taylor.At 10am Saioa Sancho, Project and Venues Manager at Bovis Lend Lease; and Carlos Cristobal, the Director of the Madrid Transport Consortium, will step up to give their presentation on transport. “Media Operations”, the final presentation of the day, begins at 11.30am, with Madrid 2020 Communications Director Ignacio Gomez-Acebo being joined by Jim Curley and Lorena Segura. The day’s press conference will take place at 5.30pm. Thursday 21 March The final day’s two presentations are “Security and Medical Services” and “The Environment”, the former beginning at 9am and featuring Esther Sanchez-Calvo, a security expert with Bovis Lend Lease; Belen Prado; and the Spanish Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Sanchez Vazquez. The presentation on the environment will begin an hour later and will comprise contributions by Graciela Rosello, an environmental expert with Bovis Lend Lease, and Javier Rubio de Urquia of Madrid City Council. Proceedings will then be brought to a close at 12 noon by the Prince of Asturias. At 4.30pm the members of the IOC Evaluation Commission will hold its only press conference of the visit, which will be followed by a closing press conference given by representatives from the Bid. http://www.madrid2020.es/en/the-ioc-evaluation-commission-visit-the-next-landmark-in-the-olympic-race/
  3. One Year Before the Paralympic Games Sochi 2014 Unveils the Paralympic Torch Relay Route and Paralympic Pictograms On March 7th, Russia celebrates the countdown of 1 Year to go until the first Paralympic Winter Games in the history of the country. The Games will be held in Sochi on March 7-16, 2014. One Year Before the Paralympic Games Sochi 2014 Unveils the Paralympic Torch Relay Route and Paralympic Pictograms Today we are all celebrating One year to the start of the Paralympic Games in Sochi, and we can be extremely proud about preparations for them. We can see Sochi transforming into a real capital of the Russian barrier-free environment. (PRWEB) March 07, 2013 On March 7th, Russia celebrates the countdown of 1 Year to go until the first Paralympic Winter Games in the history of the country. The Games will be held in Sochi on March 7-16, 2014. 1350 Paralympic athletes and team members from 45 countries will participate in the Games, and 72 sets of medals will be won in five Paralympic sports. On March 5, in Sochi as part of the Russian Sledge Hockey Championship, an Exhibition match with the Russian National Sledge Hockey Team and the Higher Hockey League Team HC "Kuban" was held. The HC “Kuban” players tried Paralympic sledge instead of their normal skates and together with athletes with disabilities demonstrated the strength and the unity of sports. On March, 6, also in Sochi, on the eve of one year to the Games, the next Paralympic Test Event was launched at the "Rosa Khutor" Alpine Center, the IPC Alpine World Cup Finals. Among the competitions is Para-Snowboard, a new event that spectators of the Paralympic Games will be able to see for the first time in Sochi. In Moscow, celebrations were held in Red Square, where the presentation of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay route and the official Paralympic Games pictograms took place. During the ceremony the General Partners of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games were announced. World industry leaders, such as Coca-Cola, Dow, General Electric (GE), Samsung and Visa obtained their honorary diplomas from the President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko. Paralympic Torch Relay The Paralympic Torch Relay route and the Paralympic pictograms will be presented by the President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko at the Red Square Ice Rink. The relay will last for 10 days, from February, 26 to March, 7, 2014 and will go through 43 cities in all 8 Federal regions of Russia. Over 1500 torchbearers will get the opportunity to carry the Paralympic torch. The new Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay website will be available at http://www.torchrelay.sochi2014.com/Paralympic and will reveal the selection criteria and specific deadlines for Paralympic torchbearers. Every day, the Paralympic flame will be lit simultaneously in several Russian cities, so that at the end of the relay, thanks to the Paralympic flame "unification" ceremony, it will reach the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Sochi. Paralympic pictograms One year before the launch of the Paralympic Winter Games, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee presented a selection of Paralympic pictograms. These images of sports and disciplines provide information for participants and guests on the location of events and the sports in the Paralympic program. There are more Paralympic pictograms than there are Paralympic sports (6 pictograms for 5 Paralympic sports), this is due to the fact that para-snowboard has been added as a new event to the sport program of the Paralympic Games in Sochi for the first time in history. Para-snowboard entered the program as one of the alpine skiing events; however, it has its own features which are reflected in a separate pictogram. Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, highlighted: "Today we are all celebrating One year to the start of the Paralympic Games in Sochi, and we can be extremely proud about preparations for them. We can see Sochi transforming into a real capital of the Russian barrier-free environment. Number of ramps, accessible crossings and adapted vehicle transport in the city is growing rapidly. All sports venues of the Mountain and Coastal Clusters are being constructed according to accessibility requirements and are fully adapted for the Paralympic athletes’ needs, this has already been proven by the "Paralympic" Test Events season. The barrier-free environment in Sochi is already prepared to host the Paralympic Games. But probably the most important is that the Games in Sochi are breaking down stereotypes towards people with disabilities which still exist in Russia, and are already changing the lives of 13 million Russians for the better”. http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2013/3/prweb10510287.htm
  4. Kaliningrad World Cup Stadium World Cup capacity: 45,015 after world cup: 25,000 Construction should be completed by 1 May 2017. Kaliningrad Airport project for 2018 FIFA World Cup
  5. 1 Year to Go to Sochi 2014 Paralympic Gameshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/43767123@N02/sets/72157632940912048/with/8535942625/
  6. Plan to use Olympic Stadium at 2015 World Cup may lead to extended deadline for final submission of venues Rugby World Cup organisers may be given more time to submit their final list of venues for the 2015 tournament if it means the Olympic Stadium being available, Telegraph Sport has learnt. Iconic venue: having the Olympic Stadium as a 2015 World Cup ground would help organisers fulfil an £80 million revenue pledge Photo: EPA By Ben Rumsby 4:40AM GMT 06 Mar 2013 The England 2015 board met on Tuesday to discuss a preferred list of stadiums and match schedule for rugby’s showpiece event, with the inclusion of the London 2012 stadium still not decided. An 18-strong long list – 17 announced in October and one on Monday – was expected to be whittled down to 12 tournament venues in time for submission to the International Rugby Board in Dublin on March 15. However, it is understood the IRB would consider waiting for final confirmation if organisers requested an extension to get the Olympic Stadium on board. March 15 could come too soon for a deal to be done to include it, with West Ham co-chairman David Gold claiming on Monday that an agreement over his club’s anchor tenancy of the 80,000-seat arena would not be signed until at least the following day. Confirmation of West Ham’s relocation would allow plans to be cemented for a three-year, £190 million redevelopment of the venue, which would need to be paused in 2015 for rugby to be played there. The London Legacy Development Corporation, which owns the stadium, England 2015 and the IRB are all extremely eager to find a way to include the iconic arena on the final list for the World Cup, not least because organisers need to sell as many tickets as possible to fulfil an £80 million revenue pledge. Construction schedules agreed between the LLDC and West Ham could ultimately determine the viability of staging the tournament in Stratford in 2015. The stadium would need to be in the kind of shape to host matches of an international standard, such as ensuring the provision of corporate hospitality. A public announcement on the World Cup match schedule and venues had been expected by the end of the month and it remains to be seen if any extension granted by the IRB would mean a delay. Organisers on Tuesday refused to comment on the outcome of their board meeting and it is understood all potential venues had already been sent emails denying any final decision had been taken. However, the addition of Exeter’s Sandy Park to the long list on Monday is understood to be with its likely inclusion in mind at the expense of Bristol City’s Ashton Gate. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/rugby-world-cup/9911454/Plan-to-use-Olympic-Stadium-at-2015-World-Cup-may-lead-to-extended-deadline-for-final-submission-of-venues.html
  7. Exeter's Sandy Park on 2015 Rugby World Cup shortlist 4 March 2013 Last updated at 15:37 GMT Exeter's Sandy Park has been added to the list of potential venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The ground has been added as redevelopment work on Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium may not be completed in time for the event. Sandy Park is only the fourth rugby venue on the list of 18 stadiums after Gloucester's Kingsholm, Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium. The ground's capacity will rise to 12,000 in time for the tournament. Sandy Park currently has a capacity of 10,700 but Exeter have been given permission to expand the ground up to 20,000. "We want to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2015 is a truly national event, and Sandy Park, located in the rugby heartland of the south west, gives us the option to take the tournament as far and wide as possible," said England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans. "I would like to thank Tony Rowe, chairman and chief executive of Exeter Chiefs, and Exeter City Council for their support over the last few weeks as we went through the process of adding Sandy Park to the long list. "We are finalising venues and the match schedule in conjunction with Rugby World Cup Limited and will publish the final list in the next few weeks." Exeter were promoted to the Premiership in 2010 and moved to Sandy Park in 2006 having played at their old County Ground home for 101 years. Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe feels the event will benefit the whole of the south west of England. "This announcement is exciting news not just for rugby followers, but for everyone living within the region," he said. "We have been working incredibly closely with Exeter City Council in submitting a bid we hope will bring so much to so many people. "Our hope now is that we will be among the venues that will be selected for what I know will be a superb Rugby World Cup here in England in 2015." The final list of between 10 and 12 venues is set to be finalised later this year Prospective 2015 Rugby World Cup venues Amex Stadium, Brighton Ashton Gate, Bristol Pride Park, Derby Ricoh Arena, Coventry Elland Road, Leeds Stadium MK, Milton Keynes King Power Stadium, Leicester Old Trafford, Manchester St James's Park, Newcastle Stadium of Light, Sunderland Villa Park, Birmingham St Mary's Stadium, Southampton Wembley, London Olympic Stadium, London Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Twickenham, London Kingsholm, Gloucester Sandy Park, Exeter http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/21659189
  8. Unfortunately no English version .. maybe in the upcoming hours translated by Google: Sochi Olympics medals may be presented in May Posted 06.03.2013 at 15:28, updated 06/03/2013 at 15:31 Medals Olympic Games in Sochi can be presented to the public in May, said the president of the organizing committee "Sochi 2014" Dmitry Chernyshenko. XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held in Sochi, from 7 to 23 February 2014. "Medals are already presented the IOC general public, we will present them, most likely in May" - quoted Chernyshenko RIA "Novosti". Chernyshenko said, "the organizing committee chooses the right moment - to some good festive day to show all the medals, because they are outstanding, unique, and very Russian. " Sochi was chosen as the host of the Games in 2014 during the 119th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Guatemala, July 4, 2007. http://www.eurosport.ru/olympic-games/sotchi-2014/2014/story_sto3653202.shtml
  9. Not sure where to post .. maybe someone wants to know more about athletes experience in Sochi Sochi 2014: Marie Dorin Habert Feels that Sochi Is a Ghost Town Published on Mar 06, 2013 by Mihaela Lica Butler Sochi has a long way to go to become the Olympic destination it aims to be in 2014, and since little comes out of Russia about the progress, the world is watching the small resort at the Black Sea through the eyes of the athletes. But it’s a pity, and a potential PR nightmare in the making, when athletes talk in bitter terms about a city, which once was the top Summer seaside resort in Russia. Marie Dorin Habert, the biathlete who represented France at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and will also represent her country in Sochi next year, feels that the city is weird, a ghost town, no less. In a message to her fans posted on her official website, Marie wrote: “Nous sommes à Sotchi, c’est bizarre. Une ville fantôme construite à la place de rien, des bâtiments luxueux poussant comme des champignons au milieu de la gadoue brassée par les machines, la terre creusée partout, des employés fatigués (exploités ?). Tout est grand, tout est vide, tout ça me met mal à l’aise.” “We are in Sochi, it’s weird.A ghost town built in the place of nothing, luxurious buildings growing like mushrooms in the middle of the slush brewed by machines, the land excavated everywhere, tired employees (exploited?). Everything is great, everything is empty, everything makes me uncomfortable.” If the description of the current landscape was not enough to give you a bitter taste, the athlete’s experience upon arrival at the airport was no better either. A long journey ended in a lot of discomfort at the airport, where she had to show her passport way too many times, then had her rifle photographed and registered. She ended her impressions in a bitter note: “I do not know how it will change for next year, I just find that the waste of money does not really agree with my idea of the Olympic spirit.” The negativity expressed by the French biathlete follows another negative report, after a private three-storey residence collapsed in Sochi last Sunday, on the new Kurortny Avenue. Lithuanian biathlete Natalia Kochergina described a similar airport experience: “In Russia, we were met by a nightmare, all unorganized mess. We arrived at seven in the evening to the airport and we stayed five hours stuck in a queue to check in a rifle.” But it’s not all gloom and doom. Unlike the French and Lithuanian biathletes, American biathlete Lowell Bailey had positive first impressions: ” It is one of the most beautiful vistas I’ve seen with mountains surrounding the entire mountaintop village where we are living. When you look closer though, within the confines of the Biathlon and Cross-Country Venues, the Sochi Organizing Committee has a TON of work left to do! The chalet’s which will house some (but not all) of the cross-country and biathlon athletes are fairly complete, but the rest of the structures – additional housing, dining facilities, roads, walkways, etc. – are largely unfinished. The trek to the venue consists of navigating on and around a bunch of semi-finished paths and buildings. But the actual stadium and venue are just about finished.” And still he also had something negative to say about the venue, for good reason: “The stadium itself is by far, the biggest, most expansive stadium I’ve ever seen. The Timing and Press building is about ten stories high. I’m not sure what they plan on doing with all that space, especially considering that they are planning to cap the spectators at a total of 5,000! This is perhaps the most disappointing part about the Sochi venue. They built one of the most expensive venues in the world, destroyed a huge swath of untouched mountaintop, and they’re only going to bring 5,000 spectators up to see it? If that’s the case, this will be one of the smallest crowds assembled for a biathlon World Cup-calibre event. Kind of strange when you think about how big biathlon is as a sport in Russia.” The negativity seems to be the common denominator for athletes currently in Sochi. And because there is still so much to be done, can Sochi truly shine in 2014? http://www.argophilia.com/news/sochi-ghost-town/28527/
  10. TOPHOTELPROJECTS: hotel construction boom in Russia continues – FIFA World Cup in 2018 (Hamburg, Germany – 27th February 2013) Within the next year the new winner of 2014 Olympia will be awarded: the Winter Olympics 2014 will take place from 7th till 23rd February in Sochi at the Black Sea. Several new hotels will be built in this paradisiac vacation destination in southern Russia for this sport event. The largest construction project will be a building complex with six new luxury hotels, operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. The whole complex will feature 1,564 rooms. Three of the six hotels will be Marriott hotels. This information has been revealed by www.tophotelprojects.com, the worldwide leading provider of global b2b hotel data. The opening will be in autumn this year. One of several new luxury hotels for Olympia 2014 in Sochi: Swissotel Sochi Accor prepares the opening of a Mercure hotel (152 rooms) for this year’s April. Further a new Hyatt Regency hotel in Sochi (270 rooms, opening in October 2013) is under construction. In autumn an exclusive Capella hotel (59 suites) by the luxury hotelier Horst Schulze should be inaugurated. Another two properties of the Capella hotel chain will open in May by the Solis brand (in total 172 rooms). Before the end of the year the Rezidor Hotel Group will open a Park Inn hotel (160 rooms) in Sochi. Another Park Inn hotel (198 rooms) will follow in June 2014. In September a new Swissotel (200 rooms) will start to operate. The next large event in Russia is due in 2018: from the 8th June till the 8th July the FIFA World Cup will take place in twelve large cities, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg as well as Sochi. This supports the hotel construction in Russia enormously. According to TOPHOTELPROJECTS 117 new hotels with more than 37,000 hotel rooms are currently under construction or planed in Russia. Russia expects over a million foreign guests to the FIFA World Cup 2018. The Russian Government promises the hotel operators tax exemption for a year, so that the hotel investments are profitable. According to a study of the accounting and consulting firm KPMG the number of hotel rooms by international hotel chains should rise from nearly 22,000 rooms at late October 2012 to nearly 47,000 rooms in 2018. The Rezidor Group is the most active hotel chain. Until 2018 the number of Rezidor hotels should increase to 40. Twelve Russian hotels by the brand Marriott International are currently in operation. Until 2018 ten new hotels should enter the market. http://hotelprojectsworldwide.com/tag/hotel-group/
  11. Akinfeev: Ambassador role a massive honour (LOC) Sunday 3 March 2013 © RIA NOVOSTI Igor Akinfeev is widely regarded as the best Russian goalkeeper since Lev Yashin and Rinat Dasayev. He made his first-team debut for CSKA Moscow when he was 16, and now, at 26, is one of the national team's most experienced players. In October 2012, he set a new national record by going 708 minutes without conceding a goal. In his country's colours, Akinfeev has recorded clean sheets since August 2011. The keeper preferred not to discuss the records he had set, but was is more than happy to reflect on Russia's successful start to the qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in which they have won their first four matches without conceding a goal. For Akinfeev, much of the credit for this goes to their new coach, Fabio Capello. "Capello is a top specialist," Akinfeev said. "He goes about his work really well and I think anyone would be able to see that. The thing with Capello is that he has achieved results not only in Italy and in Spain, but here in Russia as well." "The main characteristics of his management style are firm discipline, great organisation and minute attention to detail. At first, the scrupulousness with which he went about his business might have struck some people as a bit odd, but over time it has become clear that in football there is nothing so trivial that it doesn't matter. I have to admit that I like working with Capello, it gives me a lot of pleasure. But there's no relaxing when he’s around. If you lose concentration for just a second, he'll have someone taking your place in the national team." By the end of 2012, Russia found themselves comfortably leading their Brazil 2014 qualification group, having opened up a five-point lead over Israel and Portugal. Such has been their form that fans are starting to look forward to their team gracing the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 12 years. For now though, Akinfeev is reluctant to speculate about what Russia might achieve in Brazil, preferring instead to focus on the team's short-term objectives. "First thing's first, we still have to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil,” he insisted. “All Russia's toughest qualifiers still lie ahead. That includes Northern Ireland in Belfast in March, our away match in Portugal and a tough game in Baku. Moreover, you have to set your targets based on the strength of the team. We're not Spain yet, so we can't expect to win every tournament, and we're not the Italians, who are capable of reaching finals whatever form they're in. We have to take a realistic view of our chances, and so the first thing we need to do is earn the right to go to the World Cup." Coming back stronger Looking back at Akinfeev's achievements in 2012, it is fair to say that he had a successful year. Yet it all started with him recovering from a serious injury he picked up during the Moscow derby between CSKA and Spartak. The shot-stopper damaged his cruciate ligaments, and was ruled out for at least six months. Despite the grim prognosis, a mixture of arduous rehabilitation and self-discipline helped him return to action in the spring, several months earlier than expected. "When a sportsman picks up an injury, particularly a serious one, it's always really tough psychologically," Akinfeev admitted. "In those instances, I always draw energy from my friends and family, who are ready to help me whenever I need it. The whole time I was injured, there was one thought that kept me going: the sooner I recover, the sooner I can make it back out onto the pitch. During my months on the sidelines, I started looking at things differently. When you play for one of the country's top teams, when you win trophies and earn recognition, you quickly get used to that. It feels as if that's the way it's always going to be. But football isn't that simple. During their careers, players face lots of trials and tribulations. For me, that means injuries, and I've had to overcome them. To get through that and to get back to my previous level was, for me, the ultimate motivation. Now I appreciate every training session, every minute I spend on the pitch for club and country." On 20 March 2012, a month before his return to action, Akinfeev was appointed the first ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. At a special ceremony, the goalkeeper was presented with his ambassador's certificate by the chairman of the Russia 2018 LOC, Vitaly Mutko, who pointed out that "Igor is as a genuine role model for millions of Russian boys, and epitomises all the best qualities of a man and a sportsman". Akinfeev himself admitted that becoming the first Russia 2018 ambassador has had a profound effect on him. "The LOC's offer to become an ambassador came out of the blue, but I didn't have to think twice and agreed right away. For me, it's a massive honour, a source of pride and a great responsibility. I have to admit that it was particularly touching for me to receive the offer just as I was in the process of recovering from my injury. Usually, at times like those, everyone forgets about you for a while. But in this case, not only did they remember me, they handed me this really important mission! I was pleasantly surprised, and it gave me a new lease of life. To me, it meant that I had actually achieved something with my performances. "I always try to live up to this honour and status by behaving the right way, both on the pitch and off. I think World Cup ambassadors should embody everything that's best about football, and fight some of the negatives which, unfortunately, you sometimes see in the game. Above all, you have to influence the atmosphere in the stands. At the moment, things aren't going so well in that respect. If we want football to develop, we need to improve the situation straight away. I think that some work's already being done to deal with this." Dreaming of Russia 2018 The opening match of Russia 2018 is just over five years away, and the host nation is now focusing on intensive preparations for the tournament. Five stadiums scheduled to host Russia 2018 matches are in the process of being built, and work has begun on the design of the remaining seven arenas. The government is preparing to give the go-ahead for a programme of investment in infrastructure ahead of the tournament. Against that backdrop, there is ever more debate about how the FIFA World Cup could change or even transform Russia. "For the whole world, and even for people living in our country, Russia will be seen from an entirely new perspective," said Akinfeev. "As footballers, we often travel around the country, but even we can't imagine just how rich and colourful Russia is. Thanks to the World Cup, hundreds of thousands of tourists from right around the world will be visiting Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don and the other cities. As they follow their national teams, supporters will have the opportunity to learn about the culture and everyday life of Russia's cities. I'm sure that they will be left with really warm and vivid impressions of Russia, and many of them will want to come back here again and again." "Last of all, for me, as a footballer, it's particularly important that the country will be getting a new sporting infrastructure, and this will also mean that thousands of kids will have the opportunity to take up football. There'll be new stadiums, which we don't have enough of at the moment, and that will mean that Russian football can continue to make rapid progress. Once the new stadiums are in place, we can expect to see sell-outs again, with more women and children coming to matches." In 2018, Igor Akinfeev will be 32. As a goalkeeper, he should still be at his peak and enjoying a period in his career when he can benefit most from his physical condition and vast experience. Not that anyone would call him inexperienced today. This year, he will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of his first-team debut. Yet his desire to lead his national team out at a FIFA World Cup on home soil, to the strains of the Russian national anthem, is as strong as it was ten or 20 years ago, when it was just the dream of a talented teenager at CSKA's football academy. "I'm aware that, at the moment, it's still just a dream,” he said as our interview drew to a close. “There are still five years to go until the World Cup, and that's a long time for a footballer to get through and to keep performing at the same level. All I've done so far is to take the first small step along that road. To play in a World Cup is a dream for any player who wants to achieve something big in football. At the moment I'm feeling proud of my country, and proud of the fact that Russia has earned the right to host such a massively important tournament." http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/russia2018/news/newsid=2023245/index.html
  12. PyeongChang 2018: IPC praises both the quality of the organizing team and the progress made for the Paralympics The delegations met to discuss the Paralympic Games for a day and a half and covered a number of topics / IPC LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications March 1 - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has just carried out its first project review of the 2018 Paralympic Games to be held at PyeongChang, South Korea. The two day meeting was held during February 27/28 and was headed by IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez, Paralympic Games Integration Director Thanos Kostopoulos and Commercial and Marketing Director Alexis Schaefer. The IPC team met with a delegation from the 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) led by President and CEO Kim Jin-sun and Vice President and Secretary General Dong Hoo Moon. Gonzalez noted on the progress, “It is exciting to see how much the preparations for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games have come along in the past year. "We’ve had very productive and open discussions and are very pleased with the quality of the organising committee team. "We look forward to working together towards a very successful Paralympic Winter Games in 2018.” The meeting covered a range of topics including observations from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the organising committee structure, the Games Foundation Plan, sport, accessibility, venues and infrastructure, marketing, broadcasting and communications. And importantly, the development of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic emblem that will be the branding of the Paralympics was discussed during a parallel meeting. The Paralympics in PyeongChang will take place between March 9-18 in five years time in 2018. http://www.sportsfeatures.com/olympicsnews/story/50034/pyeongchang-2018-ipc-praises-both-the-quality-of-the-organizing-team-and-the-progress-made-for-the-paralympics
  13. Japanese hope new television technology will boost Tokyo 2020 bid Saturday, 02 March 2013 By Duncan Mackay at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo March 2 - Japan plans to show that holding the Olympics and Paralympics here in 2020 would be the most technologically advanced in history by demonstrating new cutting-edge "8k" ultra high definition television to the team of inspectors who are here to assess their bid. The country's Communications Ministry is planning to show the technology to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission, headed by Britain's Sir Craig Reedie, who are due to officially begin their visit to the Japanese capital on Monday (March 4). Broadcasts in 8K will offer a resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels - roughly the equivalent of a 32 megapixel photo, which is believed to be at the limit of what the human eye can process. That is 16 times as sharp as current high-definition television offering about 2MP resolutions. Japanese broadcaster NHK - in partnership with the BBC - showed off the technology in London during the Olympics last year, where audiences claimed it gave them a sense of being at the events. The picture was so precise, it was claimed, that one could view a shot inside the Olympic Stadium that appeared to be three dimensional and contained stunning detail. The firm has developed three cameras that can capture the higher resolution - which it calls Super Hi-Vision - at 60 frames per second but aims to double that to 120 frames per second. By contrast the BBC currently normally broadcasts high definition television programmes at 25 fps. NHK has used a 145-inch (3.7 metre) prototype display co-developed with Olympic TOP sponsor Panasonic to show off its footage at London 2012. A team from NNK carried out advance tests of the new technology at London 2012 The Japanese Government are supporting a number initiatives aimed at helping the nation's huge consumer electronics sector and plans the full introduction of 4K broadcasts in July 2014 to coincide with the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which would put it two years ahead of the rest of the world. They then hope to begin extensive testing 8K broadcasts in 2016 at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, four years ahead of schedule. A team from NHK last month carried out a test of the technolgy at the Rio Carnival in partnership with Brazil's TV Globo. http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/summer-olympics/2020/1013141-japanese-hope-new-television-technology-will-boost-tokyo-2020-bid
  14. IOC evaluation commission arrives in Tokyo to inspect plans to host 2020 Olympics By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, March 1, 10:45 AM TOKYO — The International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission arrived in Tokyo on Friday a few days before a four-day inspection of the city’s plans to host the 2020 Olympics. IOC vice president Craig Reedie will lead the March 4-7 inspection. Later this month, the evaluation commission will visit Madrid and Istanbul, the other cities bidding to host the games. The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot at is session in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7. Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, is bidding for a second straight time after finishing third in the IOC vote for the 2016 Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro. “For the next week, we will go all out to demonstrate our winning formula for hosting the games in 2020,” Tokyo 2020 President Tsunekazu Takeda said. Tokyo organizers want to highlight the city’s safety and advanced infrastructure, while emphasizing that 28 out of the 33 planned competition venues will be within a five-mile radius of the Olympic Village, meaning less travel time for athletes. Two major differences from Tokyo’s failed bid to host the 2016 Games are a larger Olympic Village with more space for athletes to train and a more centralized main stadium. The previous bid also was hurt by a demonstration against hosting the Olympics during the evaluation commission’s visit, and organizers are hoping there will be no repeat this time. Public support is much higher this time around thanks in part to Japan’s strong showing at the London Olympics. The latest poll showed that 73 percent of those polled support the bid. Still, some feel the money could be put to better use rebuilding in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country’s northeastern coast. Tokyo has been rated highly by the IOC for its technical bid, but faces the appeal of Istanbul and taking the game to a new city that straddles Europe and Asia. While London spent nearly $16 billion in public funds on building venues for the Olympics, Tokyo has a $4.5 billion “reserve fund” for infrastructure projects for the games. That compares with $19.2 billion for Istanbul and $1.9 billion for Madrid. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/ioc-evaluation-commission-arrives-in-tokyo-to-inspect-plans-to-host-2020-olympics/2013/03/01/7f7f2fb4-823e-11e2-a671-0307392de8de_story.html
  15. Bidding process timeline: The timeline for the bidding process has been approved by UEFA's Executive Committee: • 28 March 2013: Approval of the bidding requirements and bid regulations • April 2013: Publication of the bid requirements and launch of the bidding phase • September 2013: Formal confirmation of their bid by the candidates • April/May 2014: Submission of bid dossiers and start of the evaluation phase • September 2014: Appointment of the host cities by the UEFA Executive Committee http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/finals/about-euro/uefaeuro2020/index.html
  16. Winter Olympics workers face abuse, swastikas at Sochi AFP February 23, 2013 3:47PM A HUMAN rights report into working conditions at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia has found widespread exploitation. Tashkent Ibragimov initially jumped at the chance to work on Sochi's Olympic construction, hoping the earnings would help his family in Uzbekistan. Instead, the job left him broke and humiliated. Having already worked in Russia's far eastern Vladivostok constructing hotels for last year's high-profile Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, Ibragimov "thought it would be good in Sochi as well". But the 31-year-old said he was cheated out of his salary by a subcontractor building a hotel for some of the 300,000 sports fans expected to descend on the Black Sea resort city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. "We didn't send money home for six months," the father-of-three told AFP in broken Russian, explaining how his boss would only give out sporadic cash allowances to him and his group of 15 workers instead of paying a monthly salary as agreed. On top of feeling powerless and frustrated at having to continuously fight for his paycheck, Ibragimov, as foreman of his group, was under added pressure from his co-workers. Relatives of co-workers from the same impoverished area as Ibragimov blamed him when their cash transfers didn't arrive and went so far as to harass his family about it back home in the western Uzbekistan town of Beruni, he said. "My grandfather couldn't take the stress, he died of a heart attack because of this," Ibragimov said bitterly. His story is just one example of what rights group say is a system of unjust treatment of migrants by the firms working on Sochi's sites. Earlier this month, international rights group Human Rights Watch published a report highlighting the "exploitation" at Sochi, contrasting the abusive treatment of migrant labourers with the "big hopes and dreams" for Russia's athletes at the Games. Titled "Race to the Bottom" and based on dozens of interviews with workers, it calls on Russian authorities and the International Olympic Committee to address rights violations such as wage arrears, the confiscation of identification documents and inadequate rest periods between long shifts. Russian authorities have rejected the accusations, while the main agency overseeing construction, Olympstroi, said it had conducted more than 1,300 checks for violations and received only five complaints from workers via the hotline numbers made available on various posters in the city. But the workers are mostly from Central Asia, with a limited knowledge of Russian, and are often wary of complaining out of fear of deportation, said Semyon Simonov, who runs a consultation centre for migrants in Sochi for watchdog Memorial. The authorities are concealing "massive human rights violations on the Olympic venue sites," he said. "Clearly everything leads to the very top... they know everything in Olympstroi and in (Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry) Kozak's department, but they choose to ignore the problems due to the worker shortage." With preparations running behind schedule, more than 22,000 additional workers will be needed to finish the construction work on time, a government report said this month, according to Kommersant business daily. Finding out who is responsible for unpaid wages is not straightforward and requires wading through a complex web of subcontractors, said Memorial lawyer Alexander Popkov, who works with Simonov. The chain of subcontractors also means that the enormous sum invested in Olympic development -- over $50 billion -- mostly goes to middle-men. "This huge stack of money melts away to pennies on its way to the worker," Popkov said. Large contractors often deny violations which are committed by the smaller firms carrying out the actual construction, he told AFP. Most labourers don't even have copies of their contract, according to Simonov, who puts the number of migrant workers in Sochi at over 40,000, much higher than the official figure of 15,700. "Many people leave (Sochi) with no money," he said. Unemployed and broke, some migrants end up in dire circumstances that push them towards crime, which in turn fuels nationalist sentiment among locals. Over the past two years, swastikas and SS signs have become widespread in a city that has always been a melting pot of many Caucasus ethnic groups, Simonov said. In January, investigators charged two Sochi teenagers with inciting hatred for attacking migrant workers from Central Asia and spreading "nationalist rumours". Scarred by his experience, Ibragimov said he has stopped working on Olympic venues -- but he isn't ready yet to leave Sochi, where he has just found employment with a non-Olympic contractor. "There is a lot of work here," he said. "I was just tired of the humiliation." http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/more-sport/winter-olympics-workers-face-abuse-swastikas-at-sochi/story-e6frfglf-1226584102476
  17. UK ready to share experience with Russia (FIFA.com) Monday 18 February 2013 © LOC Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the Local Organising Committee for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, has visited the United Kingdom to hold meetings with some of the UK’s key sports administrators, including the former chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) in 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe; the UK’s sports minister, Hugh Robertson; and the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Sir John Armitt. They also met representatives of UK business and officials from the world of football. The two sides discussed planning and staging major sporting events, focusing in particular on managing construction projects and devising a legacy programme. UK representatives said they were ready to work together with the Russia 2018 LOC, and share the experience and practices they were able to harness as they planned and organised the 2012 London Olympics. Lord Coe: Russia 2018 could put in place a comprehensive, long-term legacy Sorokin and Lord Coe met at the headquarters of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which now houses the famous Briton’s offices. Once the 2012 Olympics were over, Lord Coe, who chaired the organising committee, was appointed the UK’s Olympics legacy ambassador and an adviser to the UK prime minister on the successful delivery of that legacy. The international sporting community has already recognised the 2012 Olympics legacy as a model example. Its major strength is its regeneration of a depressed industrial area in East London through the construction of a large proportion of the facilities required for the Games, including the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Village. When the Games ended, the Olympic Village was transformed into a residential area comprising almost 3,000 affordable apartments, parkland and all the required infrastructure. Many of the facilities used for the 2012 Olympics were temporary. For example, the Olympic Stadium’s capacity was lowered from 80,000 to 25,000 once the Games were over, in order to help the owners control the costs required for its upkeep. Alexey Sorokin pointed out that the example provided by the London Olympics was of great interest to Russia 2018’s organisers. “We were interested in their innovative approaches to constructing and managing sports facilities. In my view, their experience of transforming an unwanted industrial area in East London into a modern housing complex by building the Olympic Village is highly relevant to the Russian host cities which will be staging the World Cup in 2018. We will develop the ideas pursued by our UK colleagues and use their experience as we make preparations for our tournament,” said the CEO of the Russia 2018 LOC. For his part, Lord Coe stressed that Russia is a new market for world football and for FIFA, and staging FIFA’s showpiece event in Russia would provide an excellent opportunity to put in place a comprehensive, long-term legacy for the country. "Alexey Sorokin and I have known each other for some time, so I was pleased to welcome him to London. We discussed potential areas of cooperation regarding planning, managing and delivering successful global events such as the 2018 World Cup, where there is a lot of interest on the part of both UK government and business in sharing our London 2012 experience with our Russian counterparts." Lord Coe said at the end of the meeting. Hugh Robertson and Sir John Armitt: Management system plays a key role The meeting between Alexey Sorokin and UK Sports Minister Hugh Robertson focused on the management of preparations for major sporting events. In the case of the London Olympics, it was Robertson’s department which directly monitored preparations for the Games and the work of LOCOG and the ODA. The minister drew the attention of the Russia 2018 LOC representatives to the need to ensure that all the facilities to be used for the tournament should be handed over a year in advance of the event. Hugh Robertson also pointed out that, over the seven years it spent preparing for the Olympics, his department had accumulated a great deal of experience, and he would be happy to share that experience with Russia. During their visit, the LOC delegation had another intensive meeting with Sir John Armitt, chairman of the ODA, the organisation responsible for managing and monitoring the construction of facilities for the 2012 Olympics. Armitt spoke about the project management methods the ODA used, as well as the most effective methods of monitoring expenditure and the ODA’s efforts to ensure that facilities were completed on schedule and in line with the required standards. As well as the meetings where they studied the experience of the London Olympics in 2012, the Russia 2018 LOC delegation, which also included senior officials from Arena-2018, also visited the UK’s leading stadiums – Wembley, the Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Etihad. In addition, LOC representatives met senior police officers responsible for ensuring security at football matches and discussed how to provide security at major sporting events. http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/russia2018/news/newsid=2014389/index.html
  18. New website for Lillehammer 2016 http://lillehammer2016.no/home_eng.html
  19. Dow prepares for Sochi 2014 Olympics Corporate spotlight Compiled by Tony Lascari tlascari@mdn.net Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 9:02 am, Sun Feb 10, 2013. Russia on Thursday celebrated the one-year-to-go mark for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and The Dow Chemical Co. highlighted its contributions to Olympic facilities. Dow said its solutions can be found throughout the Sochi Olympic Park, including the Bolshoy Ice Dome. Dow worked closely with the project’s contractors to provide a number of unique solutions, including insulation and heat transfer fluids that enable an energy-efficient and reliable, long-lasting ice rink. “We are extremely proud of our science and technology-based contributions that enable more sustainable, safer and higher-performing venues at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games,” said Arthur Eritspokhov, executive director for Dow Olympic Operations in Russia. As the Official Chemistry Company and the Official Insulation Partner of the Olympic Games, Dow said it applied its technical expertise and product portfolio to help build a world-class ice surface for top-performing athletes. STYROFOAM brand XPS insulation served as an insulation layer for the flooring underneath the ice surface, and DOWCAL 10 and DOWCAL 20G heat transfer fluids were used to create and maintain the arena’s high-performance ice surfaces. Dow Corning, IBM develop new materials for board-level photonics Dow Corning and IBM scientists recently unveiled a major step in photonics, using a new type of polymer material to transmit light instead of electrical signals within supercomputers and data centers. The companies said this new silicone-based material offers better physical properties, including robustness and flexibility, than other alternatives. Scientists have been researching a range of technological advancements to reduce the energy required to move data from a processor to a printed circuit board within a computer. “Dow Corning’s breakthrough polymer waveguide silicone has positioned us at the forefront of a new era in robust, data-rich computing, especially as we continue to collaborate with outstanding industry leaders like IBM,” Eric Peeters, vice president, Dow Corning Electronic Solutions, said in a news release. “Optical waveguides made from Dow Corning’s silicone polymer technology offer customers revolutionary new options for transmitting data substantially faster, and with lower heat and energy consumption. We are confident that silicone-based board-level interconnects will quickly supersede conventional electronic signal distribution to deliver the amazing speeds needed for tomorrow’s supercomputers.” http://www.ourmidland.com/news/article_bc0e5c78-cd1c-5fa3-b889-055274e7a072.html
  20. Tickets for Sochi Olympics to go on sale a year before the Games 07 February 2013 On February 7, with a year to go until the start of the XXII Winter Games in Sochi, tickets to the Olympic Games are going on sale. Persons residing in the territory of Russian Federation will be able to purchase tickets exclusively on the official website of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi - www.sochi2014.com. Within Russia the only retailer of tickets to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi will be the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. In other countries people will only be able to obtain tickets fr om the Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATRs), appointed by their country's National Olympic Committees (NOCs). To gain access to the sporting events, all spectators will need to have with them their spectator pass, which, along with their ticket, will be a mandatory requirement to gain access to the venues. The Sochi 2014 ticketing program will see tickets for the sporting events sold online on a first come first served basis. The ticketing program for the Sochi 2014 Games is unique as it is one of the largest in Olympic Winter Games history, thanks to the record number of sports disciplines and new events contained in the Olympic program for the Games. How to purchase tickets Up until May, 31, 2013, all tickets will only be sold by price category, without assigned seats. The least expensive tickets will cost 500 rubles (~$ 17), and the most expensive - 50,000 (~$ 1651) rubles, and delivery throughout Russia will be available. Fr om June, 1, 2013, all tickets which have been sold by price category, without being tied to exact seats, will be automatically assigned a specific seat at the sports venues. As of autumn 2013, tickets with assigned seats can be purchased at the Main Ticket Centers in Moscow and Sochi. At these centers it will also be possible to collect tickets purchased via the website. Only those who purchase a ticket before May 31 and sel ect delivery can look forward to receiving a unique souvenir ticket of the Games in Sochi. At Games Time (February 7 - February 23, 2014), remaining tickets will be available fr om the Sochi 2014 website www.sochi2014.com, the Main Ticket Centers and Ticket Box Offices directly at the sports venues that will open when the Games start. A complete list of the Authorized Ticket Resellers appointed by each country's NOC, through which foreign nationals will be able to acquire tickets, will be published on the official site of the 2014 Games, www.sochi2014.com. Outside Russia each NOC/ ATR sets its own specific ticket sales procedure and timelines, which are approved by Sochi 2014, and in accordance with applicable local regulations. In addition, starting in the autumn of 2013, overseas spectators from certain territories (if agreed by the NOC of that territory) will be able to purchase tickets on the official website of the 2014 Games, www.sochi2014.com. In order that as many spectators as possible are able to go to the Olympic competitions in 2014 and enjoy the atmosphere of the Games, the Organizing Committee has set lim its on the number of tickets to each event that can be purchased per person. For a number of the most popular events, such as ice hockey, figure skating and the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, the lim it is 4 tickets per person, whilst for the rest of the events it is 8 tickets. The total number of tickets in a single order must not exceed 50. Ticket prices Ticket prices for all the Olympic events, approved by the International Olympic Committee, on average correspond to ticket prices for the most popular Russian and international events, and are comparable to the ticket prices at previous Games. The ticket price is final and includes all taxes and Olympic transport in Sochi. Ticket prices are the same for all spectators. There will be no discounts on tickets and no free tickets. The lowest-priced ticket to sporting events in the Mountain Cluster will cost 500 rubles (~$ 17), and to sporting events in the Coastal Cluster – 1000 rubles (~$ 33). More than 40% of all tickets will cost under 3,000 rubles (~$ 99), more than half will cost less than 5,000 rubles (~$ 165), and 85% of all tickets will cost less than 9,000 rubles (~$ 297). It will be possible to buy a ticket to any sport for 1,500 rubles (~$ 50) or less. Ticket prices for the Ceremonies will start at 4,500 rubles (~$ 149). The most expensive ticket at the Games will be a category "A" ticket for the Opening Ceremony, costing 50,000 rubles (~$ 1651). Payment methods and delivery options In recognition of Visa's support for the Olympic Games for over 26 years, Visa cards will be the only cards accepted when paying for tickets to the Games. Visa accounts can be opened in practically any bank in the country. Moreover, there are plenty of innovative ways in which to get your Visa card these days - whether on the day you visit the bank, or over the Internet, from the comfort of your own home. Sochi 2014 is keen to ensure as many Russian residents as possible have access to enjoy the Sochi 2014 Games. For this reason, the Organizing Committee has decided that only Visa cards issued in Russia will be accepted to purchase tickets on this site until May 31. Starting from autumn 2013, the Sochi 2014 site may accept other international Visa payment cards. Tickets may also be paid for in cash if purchased in the autumn of 2013 at the Main ticket centers in Moscow and Sochi. For the 2014 Games there are two ways to get your hands on your tickets: either by courier delivery, or by picking them up yourself in Moscow or Sochi. Delivery will take place throughout Russia from the autumn of 2013, and will cost 450 rubles (~$ 15). To avoid having to stand in line, the Organizing Committee recommends that you choose delivery. Moreover, only by selecting courier delivery and completing your order on the official website by May 31 will spectators receive a special souvenir ticket featuring a unique design. Spectators who do not choose the option "Delivery by courier" will be able to pick up their tickets in the autumn of 2013 in the Main ticket centers situated in Moscow and Sochi. Spectator Pass According to the Terms and conditions of the Sochi 2014 ticketing program, to gain entry to sporting events, Games ceremonies and the Olympic Park, a ticket holder will also need to be in possession of a spectator pass. The spectator pass will help to ensure the secure, hospitable and friendly atmosphere of the Games in Sochi. The state is responsible for ensuring the safe hosting of the Games, and it is its top priority. The spectator pass will allow all spectators at the Games to enjoy their visit to the sporting and cultural events in maximum comfort, whilst the pass itself will prove to be a wonderful souvenir. After buying a ticket, every spectator is required to obtain a spectator pass. Once the Games have started, this will help minimize long queues at the entrance to the sports venues and save time. The detailed information on the procedure to obtain a Spectator Pass will be available onwww.sochi2014.com. Anti-scalping measures Fans should only buy tickets from Sochi 2014 authorized sources in order to avoid disappointment and potentially being refused entry to the venue. It is illegal to resell Olympic tickets. On January 2 2013, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin signed the Federal Law "On Amendments to Article 9 of the Federal Law On the Organization and Staging of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi, the Development of Sochi as an Alpine Climatic Resort and Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" and the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation". The legislation, which came into force on January 15, 2013, means that ticket scalping is punishable by an administrative fine for citizens amounting to between five and ten times the cost of admission; for officials - between ten and twenty times the cost of admission; and for legal entities, from five hundred thousand to one million rubles, or administrative suspension of activity for up to ninety days. Notes to the editor Visa has been a Worldwide Olympic Partner of the Olympic Games for over 26 years. Up to 2020, Visa is going to maintain its status as a Worldwide Olympic Partner in the category "payment services", and as the only payment card with which to pay for products and services in the territory wh ere the Olympic Games are going to be staged, including at the Olympic Games of 2014 in Sochi. Visa adheres to the highest possible standards of security when developing its payment processes for Visa cards, ensuring speed, security and convenience when purchasing tickets to the Games in Sochi. You can find out more about the company's Olympic history and about how to open a Visa account at the following website: www.visa.com. A General Partner for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Sberbank, is acting as the acquiring bank for the Sochi 2014 ticketing program, providing support for operations involving Visa cards. As part of the project's implementation, Sberbank successfully integrated a new Visa processing platform, which will help to provide a high level of security for payments made on the site www.sochi2014.com. The Organizing Committee's Official Supplier in the "Hospitality" category is Jet Set Sports - the world's leading provider of hospitality packages at the Olympic Games. Hospitality packages fr om Jet Set Sports will include tickets and hotel accommodation, catering, services related to meeting guests and transfers. The company was founded in 1984. It is an Authorized Ticket Reseller of National Olympic Committees - in Australia, the USA, Bulgaria, Canada, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden. The quality of the services provided by Jet Set Sports has stood the test of time: the company has already supplied its services at no fewer than 15 Olympic Games. The supplier of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee in the "Ticketing Services" category – CTS Eventim AG - is Europe's leading service provider for ticket sales, represented in Russia by the ticketing agent PARTER.RU. The company will provide a platform for ticket sales, including technological and operational solutions based on innovative ticketing programs, which will help the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee to provide a transparent ticket distribution system at the Games. The company was founded in 1989 in Germany. Each year, Eventim sells more than 100 million tickets to events around the world. http://www.sochi2014.com/en/media/news/65316/
  21. ^^^ here is the article : Most expensive Olympics in history: Sochi 2014 Games to cost over $50 billion Published: 04 February, 2013, 18:34 The Bolshoi ice palace under construction in Imereti Valley, Sochi (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Mokrushin) The Sochi Winter Olympics will cost Russia over $50 billion, five times more than original estimates, according to an Olympics preparation commission. By 2013, Russia completed 70 percent of the needed facilitates, spending $36.7 billion in total. The 2014 Sochi Winter Games are turning out to be the most expensive Olympics ever. The Sochi Games are estimated to cost even more than the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, which cost $40 billion, believed to be the most expensive in history. That total was more than double the cost of the London 2012 Games, which were estimated at $19 billion. Some explain the expensive price tag over the fact that the city of Sochi did not have most of the needed infrastructure. Jean-Claude Killy, chair of the International Olympic Committee's coordination commission for the Sochi Games, said that 85 percent of the infrastructure had to be built from scratch. Igor Nikolaev, director of the Strategic Analysis Department at FBK, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that the lack of infrastructure was one of the reasons for the huge expense: "There was really a lot that needed to be built in order to prepare for the Olympics, including infrastructure.” He added that the huge estimates cannot be taken literally, since they were artificially inflated by the Olympics' private sponsors. So far, sponsors have spent $24.6 billion, and costs are expected to increase to $33 billion. Many of Russia’s largest companies are Olympic sponsors, and are seeking to have as much of their expenses as possible qualify as Olympic expenditures. However, not all of their work will qualify as such, Nikolaev explained. "For example, a company building or renovating its corporate hotel, tries to qualify the expenditure as part of the Olympics’ cost. That helps them to strengthen their bargaining position. You can be sure that then they will ask something in return [such as preferential tariffs, tax breaks, etc.],” Nikolai said. The $50 billion sum is not a final estimate, and total costs could approach $66.7 billion, he said. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the head of the Olympic preparatory commission, has proposed that Krasnodar region Governor Aleksandr Tkachev offers tax breaks for companies involved in Olympic construction. The Olympics preparatory commission, established in mid-January by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is tasked with supervising all work on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. A question of cost Legal experts have claimed that individual tax breaks are excluded from Russian tax legislation; if tax breaks were introduced, they must therefore be applicable to all Olympic investors. Evgeny Timofeev, partner and head of tax firm Goltsblat BLP, has proposed that the Krasnodar region's 2.2-percent property tax rate be applied to the Olympics – if a company spends $230 million on the construction of a building, it would receive $5 million in tax breaks, he explained. In total, 378 federal facilities and 46 regional are being built for the Sochi Olympics. Of these, only 13 are sport-related; the others are related to infrastructure and accommodation. Of the main Olympic facilities, only six have been completed – the preparatory commission has reported a shortage of over 22,000 workers at construction sites.
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