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Sochi Preparations for the Winter Games

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IOC's Killy "very satisfied" with Russian preparations for the 2014 Winter Games

SOCHI, Russia — The International Olympic Committee is "on most accounts very satisfied" with Russian preparations for the 2014 Winter Games, a top IOC official said on Wednesday.

After the first inspection of Sochi's preparations since Vancouver passed the torch in February, Jean-Claude Killy, the chairman of the IOC co-ordination commission monitoring work in Sochi, said the "progress is very significant." The commission's last visit was in May.

Killy spoke after touring construction sites on the Black Sea shore and in the mountains.

Russia has less than four years to complete 30 arenas, courses and other facilities - not to mention the 200 associated infrastructure projects. All Olympic facilities in Sochi are being built from scratch.

"We visited almost all the sites ... and we are absolutely impressed with what we have seen," Killy said. He said that "a lot is still to be done," but added that "I sincerely believe these games will be better than promised."

Killy's remarks were relayed by video link to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, who said that "on the whole, work is on schedule."

Putin also underlined a commitment to preserving natural habitats. Environmentalists say the Olympic construction has caused irreversible harm.

He promised almost 30 billion rubles (more than C$1 billion) would be allocated from the federal budget this year towards accelerating preparations, and said he expected about the same amount from the private sector.

Officials are forming an Olympics centred on two so-called clusters of facilities: A seaside cluster for ice events and a mountain cluster for snow events.

Environmentalists say the price for building what officials boast to be the most compact Games ever is the destruction of unique natural habitat.

Putin underlined a commitment to their preservation, but green activists have lamented what they call irreversible ecological damage. Of most concern is the Mzympa river, beside which a road-rail link between the clusters is being built. The United Nations Environmental Program said the games would not be green in their report last month.

A tour of the facilities on Wednesday showed progress and what may be procrastination.

At the seaside Olympic Park cluster, the futuristic Bolshoi Ice Palace - designated as the ice hockey stadium - is taking shape. The building is to be reminiscent of a frozen water droplet, and the smooth, circular concrete exterior already carries that appearance. Steel rods protruding skywards from supporting concrete pillars are a stark reminder, however, that completion of the 12,000-seat arena is still some way off.

Perhaps even more illustrative is the pile of bricks in an adjacent field - what officials insist will be the 45,000-seat centrepiece stadium hosting the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium won't be used for Olympic competition, and officials hope that it might be the semifinal venue for the 2018 World Cup, should Russia win the hosting rights in a December vote by governing body FIFA.

Preparation for the Krasnaya Polyana mountain cluster are more advanced. Some facilities such as gondolas and ski runs are already in operation, and most efforts are centred on getting roads and electricity substations up to scratch.

The state railroad behemoth Russian Railways is responsible for the road-rail link, and officials estimate one quarter of the work has been completed. More than a dozen tunnels through the mountains and a raised track above the river so trains can travel directly over it are currently under construction.

The Canadian Press http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hiwHpU4s8lYBZZKVk0kdCVXsXsTg

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45,000-seat centrepiece stadium hosting the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium won't be used for Olympic competition, and officials hope that it might be the semifinal venue for the 2018 World Cup, should Russia win the hosting rights in a December vote by governing body FIFA.

45,000 seats are only good for a quater-final by FIFA standards, semifinals would be in Moscow and St.Pete. :)

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The plan sounds pretty similar to Vancouver's one with seaside ice venues and mountain (obviously) venues for snow.

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30 arenas? Are these bigger than the SOGs? :blink:

Looking at the model of venues in the Russky Dom in Vancouver, the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined venue is separate from the Biathlon and Cross-Country venue. Here's a few photos I took:

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Here's Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, separate from the other nordic events:

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Here's Biathlon and Cross-Country:

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The plan sounds pretty similar to Vancouver's one with seaside ice venues and mountain (obviously) venues for snow.

Yes, but the clusters are three times closer in Sochi...

Looking at the model of venues in the Russky Dom in Vancouver, the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined venue is separate from the Biathlon and Cross-Country venue.

Yes, it 100% corresponds to the Bid Book

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Are there photos anywhere online showing the progress at the Olympic Plaza in Sochi?

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2010

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Which venue is this? It looks like there's not enough seats for Hockey, so I'm gonna guess figure skating and short track speed skating.

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Which venue is this? It looks like there's not enough seats for Hockey, so I'm gonna guess figure skating and short track speed skating.

It is Bolshoy (Big) Ice Hockey palace (12 000 seats). It is the main construction venue in the Olympic park today. We also call it White Dome or Ice Droplet.

67cdcad744.jpg

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We need to revive this thread, guys. A flash with a current view of the Olympic Park as seen from the Olympic Stadium construction site (you can see how's the stadium is so far as well)

http://www.sc-os.ru/common/upload/cs21062012.swf

PS: Wrong Thread. Please can anyone delete my post?

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