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Russian officials said that the word "hot" is meant to symbolise the intensity of the Games for competitors and spectators, "cool" refers to ... how Russia is perceived in the eyes of the world, while "yours" expresses how the crowd can empathise with those taking part.

http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/winter-olympics/2014/1011002-sochi-2014-unveil-official-slogan-with-500-days-to-go-until-start-of-olympics

passive aggressive marketing.

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Sochi 2014: Olympic education and ice skating test event off and running

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Sports Features Communications

October 5 - The Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee this week announced a national Olympics educational effort and the first event at the skating venue for the Games.

The “Marathon of Olympic Knowledge” educational program was started Sept. 1 to mark National Teacher’s Day in Russia.

The event was sponsored by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and more than 100,000 Olympic lessons were taught by more than 100,000 teachers to more than four million school children across the county. Partners of Sochi 2014 as well as volunteers with the Organizing Committee assisted. The theme for the event was “London 2012 – Sochi 2014” and it was also broadcast online.

Alexander Mikhailin, a judoist and silver medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, helped with the final lesson at the Moscow Center of Education No. 548 Tsaritsyno. The lesson was taught by Alexander Zhukov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Russian officials said the mission of "Sochi 2014" Olympic education effort will continue even after the 2012 Games take place as a legacy program. The Organizing Committee and ROC plan to expand the instructional effort between now and the Games.

Relying on the help of regional Olympic councils with physical educational and sports authorities, a distance education program was begun in September. Classes will cover 83 subjects and by then time the 2013 Games are over, will cover the entire country.

Iceberg Skating Palace hosts inaugural test event

Russian ice skaters will be the first athletes to see action on the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Sochi Olympic Park as the Federation Cup for figure skating will be held there on Oct. 6.

World champion figure skating team Yuko Kawaguti and Alexander Smirnov and solo skater Artur Gachinski are expected to compete at the Federation Cup.

The Federal Cup is being heralded as an opportunity for the companies involved in the venue construction to test the ice before Olympic competitions. Leading Russian ice makers from across the country who have experience on major rinks have also visited and worked on Iceberg Skating Palace.

Building The Rink

Building the layers of ice began Sept. 25, exactly 500 days before the Olympic Games begin in Sochi. Special detectors were installed to record temperature changes in the ice. Ice needs to be between -4 and -5 degrees Centigrade for figure skaters. This is “soft” ice and allows the performers to execute intricate moves on the ice.

The sensors feed information to other automatic devices which control the ice temperature and the climate within the ice zone.

The first check of the rink and the equipment was done in May 2012 with a freezing test of the chilling systems. Students of the Sochi Winter Sports School and Olympic champion in ice dancing Tatyana Navka skated on the test ice. Navak is a Sochi 2014 Ambassador.

Navka said, "I was very pleased with both the design of the stadium and the quality of the ice. The Olympic Park really makes a lasting impression, all venues are very unusual and beautiful, and everything is so close and in a beautiful location by the sea.

"I haven't seen an Olympic Park like it, and I'm sure it will make a strong impression on the guests to the Sochi Olympics in 2014."

In addition to being the first competition for the rink, the Iceberg Skating Palace is the first sporting event in the Coastal Cluster, the venue for awarding Olympic medals after the figure skating and short track events of 2014.

http://www.sportsfea...off-and-running

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No chance in hell - they might take fourth place, if the Norwegians have a bad year - but Germany, the United States and Canada look like shoo-ins for the podium...

I think Russia will improve, but I don't know how much.

Thank you for your spelling of "shoo-ins"! Hooray!

I think anything less then 14 gold will be a disappointment.

Yes. But it would be understandable. After all, Vancouver was on home soil....

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I think Russia will improve, but I don't know how much.

Thank you for your spelling of "shoo-ins"! Hooray!

Yes. But it would be understandable. After all, Vancouver was on home soil....

Yes but Canada was still aiming for the top of the podium and with an increase in investment coupled with 12 more events 14 or higher should be the goal

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Presentation of 2014 Olympic Games and 2018 FIFA World Cup

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This week saw a presentation of 2014 Olympic Games and 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Russian State Duma in Moscow, an event that was held within the framework of the 2012 International Parliamentary Games.

Speaking at the presentation, Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the Sochi-2014 Organizing Committee, said that 98 sets of medals would be played during the Sochi Games. The program will for the first time feature competitions in slopestyle and women’s sky jumping. The 18-day Games are expected to be attended by at least 600,000 people, Chernyshenko said, touting what he described as moderately priced hotels in Sochi.

"In an interview with the Voice of Russia broadcast on Sunday," Chernichenko said, "in particular, that a suite in a three-star hotel in Sochi will cost just 133 dollars per day."

A host of Olympic facilities have already been unveiled in Sochi in the past, including an ice hockey arena, a speed skating rink and the world’s safest bobsleigh track.

The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics will take place at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on February 7. The construction of the state-of-the-art stadium is coming to a close, organizers said, adding that the unique facility can be easily transformed into a theater venue. In 2018, the stadium will host several semifinals of the 2018 World Soccer Championship. The rest will be held at stadiums in St.Petersburg.

Alexander Dzhordzhadze, head of the FIFA World Cup-2018 Organizing Committee, singles out plans to scrap visa regime for football fans from abroad pending the championship.

"We offered the government a project on the visa-free regime for all those possessing tickets," Dzhordzhadze says, referring to the 2018 World Cup. "During the event, fans will be allowed to use their tickets as permits to visit the championship’s host cities and those in the European part of Russia, including Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg, on a free-of-charge basis," he adds.

The tournament’s final will be held at the legendary Luzhniki arena in Moscow, a facility that was built ahead of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games. Thanks to the reconstruction due to begin next year, the Luzhniki complex will be capable of accommodating 90,000 spectators.

http://english.ruvr....FIFA-World-Cup/

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Sochi gets IOC progress check

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Sochi 2014 Olympic Games organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko, left, presents a map of the Olympic Torch relay, in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. The relay for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will start on Oct. 7, 2013 and the flame will be taken through 84 cities of Russia and finish in Sochi. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev / AP

SOCHI, Russia -- With the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics less than 500 days away, IOC officials are back in Russia to check on preparations in Sochi.

The IOC coordination commission began a three-day visit to the Black Sea resort Tuesday to inspect progress in construction, transportation, accommodation and other key areas.

The IOC panel headed by French ski great Jean-Claude Killy last visited Sochi in February.

The IOC says the commission will tour some of the mountain venues, including the national sliding center and ski jump, cross-country and biathlon sites.

The visit comes two days after Sochi organizers announced the route of the Olympic torch relay, the longest in Winter Games history covering 40,000 miles.

A news conference will be held Thursday.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

http://espn.go.com/o...ck-preparations

http://www.greenwich...ons-3932896.php

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Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games taking shape with big winter season ahead

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©Sochi 2014

11/10/2012

The eighth visit of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission to Sochi concluded today with Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy praising the local organisers of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games for the notable progress they have made in preparations, just weeks before the start of a key test season.

During its three-day visit from 9-11 October, the Commission paid visits to a number of the future Olympic venues, including the sliding centre, ski jump facility, cross country/biathlon area and the coastal cluster. The Commission was pleased to note that most of the venues are either nearing completion or are already in use.

With over 20 Sochi 2014-organised test events scheduled over the course of the winter, the venues and other Games infrastructure are set to receive their greatest assessment to date. Sochi 2014 President Dmitry Chernyshenko highlighted that the lessons learnt during London 2012, as part of the IOC Observer Programme, have also helped his team fine-tune their operational readiness preparations ahead of the Games.

“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 Commission Chairman 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.”

The Commission reviewed all aspects of preparations for the different client groups, including athletes, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, marketing partners, spectators, the Paralympic Games and the media. Having conducted a detailed examination of Sochi 2014’s operational plans, the Commission said it was confident the organisers were firmly on schedule to deliver top-quality Games for all stakeholders in 2014.

President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko noted: “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 per cent prepared.

We are already making great steps, having this month held the Federation Cup figure skating tournament at the Iceberg Skating Palace. Located 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.”

The Commission congratulated Sochi 2014 on its plans for the Olympic Torch Relay, details of which were announced on 7 October. The ambitious route will pass within an hour of 90 per cent of the Russian population during its record 65,000-kilometre journey, increasing interest in the Games ahead of the Opening Ceremony, which will be held in fewer than 500 days.

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexandr Zhukov also attended the meetings, telling the Commission that every effort was being made to field the strongest possible Russian team at the 2014 Games.

The Sochi organisers outlined the activities of the Cultural Olympiad and educational programme, and detailed their progress on volunteers. So far this year, Sochi 2014 has held 700 cultural events in 130 locations around Russia, with some 900,000 people attending. 2012 is the Year of Music according to the Cultural Olympiad calendar, with the Year of Museums planned for 2013.

The figures presented during Sochi’s volunteer update were no less impressive. Twenty-six volunteer “hubs” located around the country have received almost 120,000 applications so far, including around 4,000 from abroad. In addition, Chairman Killy and the IOC’s Executive Director for the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, met with the heads of the volunteer centres in Sochi and thanked them for their hard work.

On the educational front, some 600 teachers, librarians, partner representatives and other volunteers have already taken part in the “Train the Teacher” Olympic educational programme designed to address the challenge of bringing the Sochi 2014 Games to the entire country. Over 1,800 educational events have been held this year alone, and have reached around 10 million people.

IOC

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Olympic Committee gears up for hottest-ever 2014 Sochi Winter Games

Published:14 October, 2012, 14:02

The southern Russian resort city of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics in 16 months, and according to former Olympic ski champ Jean-Claude Killy, it's a safe bet this will be an Olympics for the ages.

In 2014, Sochi will host the first Winter Olympics in the country's history. Sochi used to be a little-known seaside town, but with the massive Olympic preparations, the future of the city itself is under construction.

The benefits and prestige of hosting the Olympics will far outlast the 2014 Winter Games themselves, presenting a unique chance for this region. Every day, more and more people around the world are going to be able to identify Sochi on the map.

“It's very unique,” the 69-year-old Killy told RT. “You have palm trees where the hockey tournament is going to be played. And then just 25 minutes by train, and you have a fabulous ski resort. It's very specific. It's the south of Russia, a very comparable place to say Nice in France, where you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon after just one hour car drive. The world will know about it very soon.”

Hosting the Winter Olympics in a southern climate is what makes the Sochi Games so special – and so challenging.

As a three-time Olympic alpine ski champion, and the current the chair of the IOC's Olympic Coordination Commission, Killy is sure winter will arrive as soon as it's needed, despite the fact that this could be the hottest Winter Olympics ever.

“Snow is going to be made whenever it's possible and stored,” he explained. “Today you can store the snow under protection during the summer time. And then use it, for example, for ski jump events. You can use whenever you want or need it. Obviously, that's the lesson from Vancouver we have to learn.”

The Sochi Games will also create some experiences truly unique to Olympic history.

“The Games are going to be the most compact ever,” Killy said. “Most athletes, for example, skiers will go out of the 'Chalet,' put their skis on and go up there. Hockey players will walk to the rink as well as the skaters. Which is incredible! I don't think, we have ever had it before to that extent.”

The Sochi 2014 official slogan was revealed on September 25: 'Hot. Cool. Yours.'

“I think, it's terrific. Absolutely terrific,” Killy said. “It's winter, summer, yours… north, south, snow, ice and yours… I think it's a way to say the rest of the world is welcome to Sochi…‘Yours’ – that's the gift from Russia to the rest of the world.”

And the best present Russia could give the world would be to make their first-ever Winter Olympics into the most memorable Games ever.

http://rt.com/sport/...4-olympics-394/

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Sochi 2014 volunteer receives Generations For Peace award

Saturday, 20 October 2012

By Tom Degun

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October 20 - Sochi 2014 volunteer and Generations For Peace Pioneer Pavel Voloshchuk has been presented with a special award at the Samsung Generations For Peace Awards.

The Russian native (pictured top) was presented with the Award for Quality by the founder and chairman of Generations For Peace Prince Feisal Al Hussein following five days of Advanced Training in Amman.

Voloshchuk's programmes focus on working with 400 children and young people from more than 100 different ethnic groups in Sochi to build peace through sport-based activities ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in the city.

His planning, attention to cascading information and responsiveness to feedback have ensured outstanding quality and secured this award win.

"In Sochi, where more than 100 different ethnic groups live together, I wanted to implement a programme to help leaders of youth address conflict and use advocacy to spread a message of tolerance in the lead up to the Sochi 2014 Games," said Voloshchuk, who is currently studying tourism at Sochi State University.

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Sochi 2014 has teamed up with Generations For Peace and Sochi City Administration to support peace building activities in the Russia, Central Asia and the Balkans

The award comes after Sochi 2014, Generations For Peace and Sochi City Administration teamed up to support peace building activities in the Russia, Central Asia and the Balkans as part of the ground-breaking Sochi 2014 Legacy Today programme.

This partnership is harnessing the power of the Games to promote sustainable peace by supporting youth volunteers, trained in the Generations For Peace curriculum, to implement programmes in their own communities.

Voloshchuk's programmes are now being delivered in conjunction with Sochi City Administration, with which he already has strong links as he is a volunteer team leader for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

He has previously volunteered to assist at the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games, the ISF European Cup in Alpine Skiing, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission visits to Sochi, and the APEC Summit in Vladivostock.

He has also led the Sochi Mayor's Youth Council since December 2011.

In total, over 100 delegates from Russia and 11 other countries were trained at Generations For Peace Sochi Camps in 2010 and 2011.

A series of programmes in Sochi and Krasnodar began in August 2012 which aim to cascade Generations For Peace values, skills and techniques for managing and transforming conflict.

Other programs are also progressing this year in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, and Ukraine.

http://www.insidethe...for-peace-award

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Sochi 2014 - A blueprint for Games to come?

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With Tuesday 23rd October marking five hundred days to go until the next Paralympic Winter Games, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven has said he expects Sochi 2014 to continue the Paralympic Movement's positive momentum and, in terms of accessibility, act as the blueprint for years to come.

Nearly 700 athletes from 45 countries are expected to compete in 72 medal events in Sochi in 2014, and in preparation for the Games the Organising Committee has been busy working on a number of projects which the IPC believes could be the benchmark for future Games.

Sir Philip said: 'I'm very excited for what promises to be a landmark Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.

'Sports-wise they will be the biggest Games yet, with the inclusion of para-snowboard in the alpine skiing programme, however it is some of the work away from the sporting action that has left me most impressed.

'What the Organising Committee has done in creating a barrier-free environment in Sochi is fantastic and something that should act as a blueprint not just for the whole of Russia but for all other cities interested in staging the Paralympic Games.

'I visited the city earlier this year and was really impressed at what I saw. I believe the Games in Sochi will be unique due to the geographical locations but am confident that what is delivered there will continue the momentum the Paralympic Movement has enjoyed in recent years.'

To mark 500 days to go, Sochi 2014 has made live an innovative accessibility map, which details easily accessible locations across Russia where people can engage in Paralympic sports. It is a project that has also impressed the IPC President.

'The Accessibility Map will help generate awareness across Russia of accessible facilities and will make it easier for people to engage in Paralympic sport. With the help and support of the IPC, this could act as a blueprint for other countries to follow,' added Sir Philip.

The 500 days to go mark for Sochi 2014 comes just 44 days after the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, the most successful Paralympic Games ever. The IPC President is keen to stress though that he expects Sochi to be a very different Games to what recently took place in the British capital.

Sir Philip said: 'It would be wrong to compare what we just experienced with London 2012 with our expectations for Sochi 2014.

'The Summer and Winter Games are poles apart in terms of size and stature, with the Summer Games featuring eight times the number of athletes and four times the number of sports.

'What we need to see in Sochi is continued growth. We need to kick on from the fabulous Paralympic Winter Games we enjoyed in Vancouver in 2010.

'Although the size and scale will be different to London, there are some things that are constant at all Paralympic Games. The Paralympic spirit will be as strong as ever and the amazing performances of athletes will continue to inspire and excite the world.

'I also hope the success Russia enjoyed in finishing second in the London 2012 medals table has a positive influence on Sochi 2014 in terms of spectators and TV viewers.

'Our research showed that Russian broadcasters massively increased their coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the viewers responded which is extremely encouraging. The challenge now is to build on this platform.

'Next year is a very big year for us in terms of winter sports. There are World Championships in alpine and Nordic skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling as well as a whole raft of test events planned for Sochi.

'Our aim is to maximise awareness of all these events to whet the appetite of sports fans ahead of Sochi 2014. I also hope that the world's media who were so enthralled by London 2012 are equally as enthusiastic about what we have lined up in 2013, another bumper year

of Paralympic sport.'

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between 7-16 March 2014.

http://www.sail-worl...to-come?/103098

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Sochi 2014 unveils Accessibility Map marking 500 days to Winter Paralympics

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

By Tom Degun

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October 23 - Sochi has marked 500 days to go to the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in the city by unveiling a revolutionary Accessibility Map for disabled people.

The interactive Accessibility Map – which is available to view atwww.kartadostupnosti.ru – has already highlighted 500 accessible venues located by Sochi 2014 volunteers from dozens of Russian cities.

Created in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the new Accessibility Map website was presented and demonstrated by the Sochi 2014 President and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko and Sochi 2014 volunteers to the guests gathered in the Equal Opportunities Park in Sochi city centre.

Volunteers and internet users can visit the website to access a complete list of barrier-free venues and infrastructure in Russia to make it easier for people with a disability to find places to play sport near to their home, sometimes for the very first time.

"In 2014, Sochi will host the first Paralympic Games in the history of Russia," said Chernyshenko.

"I am sure the high accessibility standards that will have been set in the Olympic region by 2014 will be needed in other cities across the whole country, and our efforts in passionately promoting the Paralympic values will help to remove the 'barriers' in society towards people with a disability forever."

The website has been developed to take accessibility requirements into account, allowing a user to switch to an alternative version for visually impaired users with just one click of a mouse.

After the Paralympic Games, the project will be further developed, with the internet allowing the programme to reach thousands of people online.

"I am delighted that to mark 500 days to go until the Winter Games, Sochi 2014 is launching its innovative accessibility map," said IPC President Sir Philip Craven.

"This project will help generate awareness across Russia of accessible facilities and is a project that, with the help and support of the IPC, could act as a blueprint for other countries to follow.

"Planning for the launch of this project started some time ago under the supervision of the IPC and I am pleased to see it come to fruition to mark 500 days to go."

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Sochi is celebrating 500 days to go to the 2014 Winter Paralympics

Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) general secretary Mikhail Terentiev added: "The Accessibility Map is a completely unique project for Russia.

"Its uniqueness lies not only in it being the first interactive map of the sports venues for people with a disability, but also in the fact that it is created from and will be added by the data received from the residents of Russian cities.

"Every resident of Russia can contribute to the creation of a barrier-free Russia which will make it possible for people with disabilities to lead an independent lifestyle and to actively participate in the development of our society."

Meanwhile, to mark the 500 days to go milestone visitors at Equal Opportunities Park could meet Paralympians, try their hand at several Paralympic sports, including sledge hockey, and attempt to cross an obstacle course blindfolded.

http://www.insidethe...ter-paralympics

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Russia to Set Sochi Olympic Goals in Spring - Minister

The Russian government is to wait until the spring to set medal targets for the country’s first Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told R-Sport on Friday.

With Sochi set to host a series of major tournaments in every Winter Olympic sports to act as test events for the wealth of new facilities, Russia will wait to see how its athletes perform there in the new winter sports season, Mutko said.

“This season is special. In Sochi there will be all the winter sports world championships,” Mutko said.

“At the end of the season we’ll formulate a target with sights set on the Sochi Olympics and we’ll tell the citizens of this country honestly what we want from this national team.”

Russia will be seeking to bounce back from its worst-ever Winter Olympic showing in Vancouver in 2010, which yielded just three gold medals, as well as five silver and seven bronze medals.

http://en.ria.ru/spo.../176943210.html

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Sochi 2014 and World Health Organisation launch "Union of Tobacco-Free Cities" campaign

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

By Tom Degun in Sochi

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October 30 - Sochi 2014 has teamed up with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to launch the "Union of Tobacco-Free Cities" campaign ahead of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Russian city.

Representatives from Sochi, Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk and Novosibirsk have all supported the proposal to create the Union which will become an integral part of the "Tobacco-Free Cities" and "Healthy Cities" initiatives developed by the WHO.

"The Union is tasked with protecting people against the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and second hand smoke," said a Sochi 2014 statement.

"It will also serve as a forum where representatives of Russia's regions can discuss the tobacco control initiatives."

The Winter Games in Sochi will be the 12th edition of the event to be tobacco-free and will protect over 155,000 athletes, sports delegation representatives and volunteers against second hand smoke every day, it is claimed.

Sochi 2014 is looking to demonstrate the results of its work to promote healthy living, sport and physical activity with its plans supported by the Mayor of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov.

The goal of the Union is to create a tobacco-free environment at local and regional levels and create models which can then be used across the whole country.

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Sochi launched a special campaign in April this year to encourage people to stop smoking before the city holds the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

It will take charge of promoting legislative and administrative regulations, enabling cities to rid themselves of tobacco smoke and hopefully motivate other Russian cities to get involved in the creation of a healthier environment.

The launch of the project comes as Sochi prepares to host the 2012 Peace and Sport International Forum this week, which will bring together hundreds of guests and delegates from more than 90 countries.

Hosted for the first time outside of Monaco, heads of states, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and political decision-makers will be in attendance.

http://www.insidethe...ities-campaign-

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Peace and Sport: 6th Forum opens in the Russian Olympic host city of Sochi

October 31 - The 6th edition of the Peace and Sport International Forum kicked off in Olympic host city Sochi home to the next winter Games. More than 500 delegates coming from almost 70 countries are attending this year’s event.

This makes the first time the Forum is organized outside of Monaco under the patronage of International Olympic Committee member Prince Albert II of Monaco and presided over by founder Joel Bouzou.

Bouzou said, "Holding the 6th Peace and Sport International forum in Sochi is a wonderful and completely natural choice. Now more than ever, Russia is led by the idea of spreading humanitarian ideals through sport and the sports movement.

“Sochi shares the idea that sport can provide a dialogue between different societies, and also enable a better mutual understanding. Together with the Olympic Movement, which is gaining momentum in Sochi and inspiring communication among various peoples and cultures, the Peace and Sport International Forum is helping to strengthen mutual respect and friendship among countries in the spirit of Olympic values and the ideals of peace."

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to the organizers: “I am happy to welcome you to Sochi, the host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games.

Gathered here today is a large, friendly group of like-minded people and true leaders: politicians and representatives from reputable international organisations, business circles and public associations, the elite of world sport.

We are proud that such a respectable forum is being held in our nation. Russia will soon be hosting several key international sports events, including the Summer Universiade in 2013, the World Ice Hockey Championships in 2016, the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and, of course, the XXII Olympic Winter Games. We will certainly hold all these events at the highest level possible, taking into account other nations’ experience in organising major prestigious competitions and their wonderful sports traditions. In this regard, we count on your knowledge, advice and recommendations.

We are all united by an understanding of the enormous social and cultural significance of sports and the Olympic movement for the modern world. We know how important it is to engage young people in sports culture and teach them the value of a healthy lifestyle. The stable future of every nation and all of civilisation depends on the young generation and its harmonious development.

I am certain that this forum will live up to its high level of prestige, making a significant input into strengthening international cooperation in sports and promoting the noble Olympic ideals.”

Attending this year will be:

· 2 Heads of State and 35 governments including 11 Ministers of Sport

· 7 IOC members

· 26 International Federations

· 17 National Olympic Committees

· 22 legendary sports men and women

· 26 NGOs

· 21 representatives from the private sector

· 40 Russian and international journalists

http://www.sportsfea...t-city-of-sochi

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Medals headache builds for Sochi

A medals headache may be building for organisers of the Sochi Winter Olympics as officials wrestle with the logistics of transporting athletes who win events in the mountains down to the Black Sea coast to receive their medals.

Of the 98 medal events at the 2014 Games, 69 will be decided in the mountains. All medals, though, will be awarded some 48 kilometres away at the coastal plaza.

With media commitments and anti-doping testing at venues immediately post-competition, and some events finishing late at night, this will likely lead to many athletes receiving their medals a day after competing.

At the last Winter Games organisers awarded medals at two plazas - one in Vancouver and one in Whistler.

Games organisers said on Thursday the plans had not yet been finalised, but that everything would be done to avoid inconveniencing athletes.

"The plan to move athletes from the mountains to the medals area has not been formalised," the organising committee's Amedeo Ricottilli told reporters.

"But we will do our best for the athletes. The complete plan for the medals plaza is still under discussion."

The medals plaza is to be located near the Fisht Olympic Stadium and medals will be awarded every night.

reuters

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A baby boom starts in the Russian city of Sochi thanks to the impending 2014 Winter Olympics

According to the Olympics Organising Committee, the birth rate has exploded thanks to the event and the building boom that is taking place to prepare for the world to visit.

Sochi is situated on the Black Sea coast near the Georgia and Russia border.

"The spike in babies shows the power of the Olympics" says Dmitri Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee.

"Sochi is the biggest construction site in the world".

Since winning the vote to host the Games back in 2007, Russia has become the world’s most active nation bidding to stage major sporting events.

Sochi has also won the right to stage a round of the Formula 1 championship from 2014 and it also a host city for the FIFA World Cup of soccer in 2018.

"It is a deliberate strategy by our leaders. Redevelopment of our country by holding big sporting events is key to our economic development," Chernyshenko said.

Billions of dollars are being spent modernising the Black Sea city which until now has been a summer holiday destination for Russians. They have carved a ski resort out of a wilderness to make it a year round tourist city.

To do that they are building new roads, bridges, a high speed train line, hotels, hospitals and schools. 560 thousand jobs have been created in the region.

http://www.foxsports...c-1226513895191

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Sochi 2014 to offer media first free Wi-Fi in history of Olympics

Thursday, 08 November 2012

By Mike Rowbottom at Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi

November 8 - The Sochi 2014 Winter Games will be the first Olympics and Paralympics in history to provide free Wi-Fi for the press, it was announced here today.

"Thanks to our partner Rostelecom we will offer for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games free-of-charge Wi-Fi for all accredited media," Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured top), President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, told assembled journalists here at the World Press Briefing.

"This subject has been one of my most frequently asked questions, so now we have prepared for you a special offer."

Chernyshenko said that the Sochi Wi-Fi would be 10Mb in media areas, offering additional access to the Games Information System.

In comparison, the system at London 2012 was 8Mb, and that of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games was 2Mb - both of which had to be paid for.

"Sochi will offer a five times higher band width than Vancouver's paid solution," Chernyshenko said.

"This is progress.

"It's really something.

"It will be ideal for you to file your news stories."

Sochi will also offer individual paid-for broadband packages including cabling at a cheaper price than the two preceding Games – $128 (£80/€101).

The Vancouver package cost $554 (£347/€433), and London charged $150 (£94/€117).

"The cost at Sochi will be four times less than the same package in Vancouver," Chernyshenko explained.

Anthony Edgar, head of media operations for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), welcomed the provision of free Wi-Fi as "fantastic", but told the conference: "Don't think of Wi-Fi as being your solution, because if everyone does, it won't work."

Meanwhile, Chernyshenko described Sochi as "probably the biggest building site in the world," adding: "We are setting a new standard in environmentally friendly construction.

"We are going green, which is another legacy of our Olympic project.

"Sochi is also becoming a model city which the rest of country is following.

"The Olympic project has created 560,000 new jobs despite the economic downturn.

"Unemployment in the region is less than one per cent."

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Sochi 2014 ticket touts could face million ruble fines

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

By Duncan Mackay

Tickets_changing_hands.gif

November 13 - A new law could be introduced in Russia in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics that means people found guilty of illegally reselling tickets could face fines of up to a million rubles (£19,000/$30,000/€24,000).

Russia's Lower House of Parliament today passed the first stage of the Bill which is designed to stop ticket touts cashing in on the Games.

The illegal reselling of tickets is a major problem in Russia, particularly at major sports events and pop concerts.

It follows the relative success of a crackdown during London 2012 when unauthorised selling of tickets was a crime under the Olympic Act punishable by a £20,000 ($32,000/€25,000) fine.

A total of 92 people were arrested during the Games on suspicion of ticket touting.

Among those arrested was a German who had £23,000 ($37,000/€29,000) worth of tickets for sale, including some for the Opening Ceremony that he was selling for £1,100 ($1,800/€1,400).

The new Bill would additionally allow the Government to regulate prices for tickets and hotel services in the Krasnodar Region from September 2012 till July 2014.

Having passed its first reading, the Bill must now through two more stages before Russian President Vladimir Putin can sign it into law.

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