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Luge athletes discover Sochi 2014 track



Luge athletes from around the world got a first taste of the track for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at the “Sliding Center Sanki” in Sochi, Russia, during an international training week from 3 to 14 November 2012.

The track, which will host the luge, skeleton and bobsleigh events, is located in Krasnaya Polyna and runs through the northern slope of the Aibga Ridge, meaning that it is protected from direct sunlight.

The echo of the athletes after the first test was positive:

Athletes’ voices

Tatjana Huefner, 2010 Olympic and four-time world champion from Germany:

“I like the track very much. It is a fine but difficult track. Even though there’s still a big building site all around, it’s rather obvious that there’s a lot of progress.”

Andris Sics from Latvia, 2010 Olympic bronze medallist in the doubles together with his brother, Juris:

“We like the track a lot.[…].Here in Sochi the entrances and the curves are long so that you need to really control the sled. If not you’ll lose time. The sections going uphill are interesting, too.”

Felix Loch, 2010 Olympic and three-time world champion from Germany:

“I believe that, in the future, the track will be on the World Cup programme regularly and will see World Championships. When everything is completed, the visual impact of the venue will surely be great.”

About the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

The next Olympic Winter Games will take place from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, located by the Black Sea in Russia. Some 2,800 athletes will compete in seven sports, comprising 98 medal events. In order to test the 10 competition venues in the run-up to the Games, Sochi is hosting more than 60 test events between December 2011 and September 2013.


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Sochi 2014 awarded "internet Oscar" for Accessibility Map

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

By Duncan Mackay


November 27 - Sochi 2014 have won a Russian "internet Oscar" for its revolutionary Accessibility Map for disabled people.

Officials picked up the Runet Award - which celebrates advances in technology and the internet - in the category of Health, Entertainment and Leisure.

The project was launched on October 23, 500 days before the Paralympics are due to open in Sochi, and was up against a number of nominees in the field of sports information, video hosting, translation services and services for young mothers.

The award was accepted by Sochi 2014 Ambassador and double Paralympic swimming champion, Olesya Vladykina, at the award ceremony in Moscow.

The Map is designed to find places locally where they can practice sport in a barrier-free environment.


The Sochi 2014 Accessibility Map is helping to revolutionise the lives of disabled Russians

Since the project's launch more than 1,250 venues across Russia have been added to the map.

"The main objective of the project's organisers is to move further towards creating a barrier free environment," said Vladykina, who won gold medals in the SB8 100 metres backstroke and 100m breastroke at London 2012.

"As we draw closer to the Paralympic Games in Sochi, we have a real chance to get the whole country involved in helping change our society's attitudes towards people with disabilities.

"I'm grateful to everyone who is supporting the 'Accessibility Map' project, and to everyone who voted for it."

Sochi 2014 will be the first time the Paralympics have ever been held in Russia and the Map is seen as a powerful social tool that will act as a legacy after the Games are finished.

"Each day there are new accessible venues being added to the map and we are determined that our efforts to promote the Paralympic venues will be a step towards changing society's attitudes towards people with disabilities," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and chief executive of Sochi 2014.


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Sochi Olympic development to serve Russia beyond 2014 – Putin

Dec 8, 2012 18:57 Moscow Time



Photo: RIA Novosti

The Olympic development in Sochi must be accomplished on time and on budget.

Moreover, the Olympic venues and infrastructure must be built with a view to using them long after the 2014 Winter Games in the interests of the national holiday industry and social and economic development in southern Russia.

President Vladimir Putin spoke about this to officials accompanying him on a test high-speed rail ride Saturday from Sochi to the Alpine skiing complex of Krasnaya Polyana. He also said he hopes the Sochi Olympics will dispel the doom and gloom of the current global crisis.

Over 80% of Russia’s expenditure on the Sochi Olympics will go to improve the infrastructure.

President Vladimir Putin has used a new 48-kilometre rail service connecting the next Winter Olympics host city Sochi with the Alpine skiing complex of Krasnaya Polyana.

On the way, he chaired a meeting on the progress of Olympic preparations in Sochi.

The service will become regular next April with a capacity of 8,500 passengers an hour. A parallel motor road will be capable of carrying 11,500 people an hour.

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Hotel prices to be frozen for Sochi 2014

Published: 10 December, 2012, 17:59


A room in the five-star Radisson Blu Congress & Resort Sochi, which will accommodate members of the International Olympic Committee during the 2014 Olympics.(RIA Novosti / Mikhail Mokrushin)

The Russian Government has issued a decree, which will regulate the maximum price for accommodation and services in Krasnodar Region hotels during the Sochi Winter Olympics.

According to the document, a daily fee for a standard room in a two or one star hotel mustn’t exceed 2936 roubles (around $95) for a single and 4600 roubles (around $150) for a double.

And those, who are used to luxury, won’t have to cash in more than 13,896 roubles (around $450) for a luxury suite.

“Of course, it’s only a temporary measure for the Olympics, but, nevertheless, it’s a case when the State takes responsibility for the prices contrary to the market vision,” Russia’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev is cited as saying by the Interfax news agency.

“Our people are tricky or even quirky. So we must see to it that the tour operators and hotels won’t come up with any substitute fee, which won’t be directly related to the cost of living, but would still have to be paid so that they could compensate for their losses.”

Sochi will host the XXII Olympic Winter Games from February 7-23, 2014, but accommodation prices will remain frozen from January 1, 2013 till July 1, 2014.

The Krasnodar Region’s administration has been ordered to inform local hotels owners of the ruling.

47,000 hotel rooms will be accepting tourists during the Sochi Games, with 27,000 of them being built especially for the Olympics.

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Hotel prices to be frozen for Sochi 2014
Published: 10 December, 2012, 17:59
The Russian Government has issued a decree, which will regulate the maximum price for accommodation and services in Krasnodar Region hotels during the Sochi Winter Olympics.
According to the document, a daily fee for a standard room in a two or one star hotel mustn’t exceed 2936 roubles (around $95) for a single and 4600 roubles (around $150) for a double.
And those, who are used to luxury, won’t have to cash in more than 13,896 roubles (around $450) for a luxury suite.

This would be music to my ears... if I believed a word of it. I can't possibly image this actually working.

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CoSport, U.S.O.C. announce opening of reservation process for Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games packages
Packages and individual ticket information available to public beginning Friday, Dec.14, at 12 p.m. EST at cosport.com

United States Olympic Committee: FAR HILLS, N.J. (Dec. 11, 2012) - CoSport, as the Official Hospitality Supplier of Sochi 2014, announced today that fans of the United States Olympic Team interested in attending the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be able to reserve hotel and tickets packages, and tickets and hospitality pass packages starting Friday, Dec. 14, at 12 p.m. (EST) at cosport.com.

CoSport also will launch an "expression of interest" opportunity for individual Olympic Winter Games tickets that will remain open through Jan. 7, 2013. Due to the demand for individual Olympic Winter Games tickets, the initial stage of the ticket purchase process consists of three steps: the expression of interest, the confirmation of ticket availability and the completion of the ticket purchase. Only when CoSport can confirm ticket availability and pricing details from the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will the account holder be able to purchase requested tickets.

The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee is expected to supply the inventory and pricing information needed to confirm orders in February of 2013. At that time, fans will be able to decide what they intend to purchase. Please note the initial expression of interest for individual tickets is non-binding to the CoSport account holder and there is no financial commitment at this point.

While individual tickets can be purchased as early as February 2013, the physical tickets are estimated to be printed and distributed by the host country at the end of 2013 and in early 2014. Ticket purchasers will be informed of their seat assignments at that time.

"Tickets to an Olympic Winter Games give fans of Team USA a chance to see inspiring American athletes competing in one of the world's most exciting events, and in 2014, to also explore one of the most interesting and soon-to-be discovered regions in Russia," said Lisa Baird, chief marketing officer of the USOC. "CoSport is a proud supporter of the U.S. Olympic Team and has a long history of managing this complex process. The company works to ensure fans have the best possible experience."

"We are customer-focused, so our aim is to provide an experience to fans that is on par with the excellence of the Olympic Games," said Robert Long, President of CoSport. "We understand how to work with customers to ensure a great experience in the end. Serving the Olympic Movement is the core of our business, which is why we are the Official Supplier of the Sochi Organizing Committee, and Authorized Ticket Reseller and sponsor of eight National Olympic Committees, providing expertise and revenues to the benefit the Games and the athletes."

In recognition of Visa's support of the Olympic Games, the USOC and CoSport are proud to accept only Visa for Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games ticket and hospitality package purchases.
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Pole vault queen Elena Isinbayeva will become mayor of the Olympic village in Sochi during the Winter Olympics in 2014.

The decision was announced Friday by the head of the Sochi 2014 organizing committee Dmitry Chernyshenko.

“We believe Elena Isinbayeva is the best candidate to become the mayor of the coastal part of the Olympic village,” he said.

“The mayor of the mountainous part of the Olympic village will be announced shortly,” Chernyshenko added.

The official also revealed plans to launch ‘embassies’ of all Russia’s regions in Sochi’s Olympic park during the games, which will be held on February 7-23, 2014.

“In these ‘embassies’ the regions will be able to demonstrate their historic and cultural legacy as well as their latest achievements in different fields,” Chernyshenko explained.


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IOC Member: Russia Building Olympic White Elephants

MOSCOW, December 14 (R-Sport) - Russia is building costly new stadiums for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 football World Cup without planning what to do with them afterwards, International Olympic Committee member Alexander Smirnov said Friday.

Russia will host a string of major sports events this decade, with the government keen to restore the country to the status of a sporting superpower.

“The infrastructure’s being built, costly stadiums are being built, palaces of sport. But is there any conception of how to use these structures afterwards? Or will they lie empty?” said Smirnov, who cited events including the 2014 Olympics and 2018 World Cup.

“Meanwhile, many federations, including in medal-winning sports, still don’t have their own training bases.”

Smirnov said it was “good” to hold major sports events, but suggested it should not come at the cost of modern training facilities for “rowers, cyclists, swimmers”, saying “that is bad.”

Smirnov was the lead organizer of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and is the IOC’s longest-serving member and one of three Russians on the 110-member body.

Sochi 2014 organizers insist they will leave a substantial legacy, with top-notch arenas and modern transport and energy infrastructure for locals.

Of the six arenas in the Olympic Park, two could be moved to other Russian cities after the Games, thanks to their prefabricated construction.

The 12 host stadiums for the World Cup are all set to be used for club football after the tournament, many at vastly reduced capacity.

There have been suggestions some could be used for the 2023 Rugby World Cup if a Russian bid to host the tournament succeeds.


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Sochi 2014 challenged by IPC to raise awareness of Paralympics

Friday, 14 December 2012

By Duncan Mackay


December 14 - Russia should use the strength of its team to help raise interest at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, they have been told.

That was one of the key recommendations to emerge from the latest project review carried out by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) following the meeting with Sochi 2014 in Moscow today, along with ensuring that the test events, which are due start with the World Wheelchair Curling Championships on February 16.

"Next year is vitally important with test events in all five sports taking place to fully test some of the operational assumptions, the launch of tickets sales and the challenge of engaging and communicating with Russian, and especially Sochi citizens, about the Games," said Xavier Gonzalez, the chief executive of the IPC.

"In addition to capitalising on next year's test events, Sochi 2014 must use all of next year's World Championships in winter sports to further raise awareness of the Games and complement the work already planned within the Paralympic Awareness programme."

Russia won more medals at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver than any other country, claiming a total of 38.

But they finished only second on the overall medals table because their 12 gold were one less than Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set the team the target of finishing top at Sochi 2014, which is due to be held between March 7 and 16.

"Looking at the competition results of the last two years, Russia is likely to have one of the strongest teams competing at the Winter Paralympics in 2014 and have a very good chance of winning many gold medals," said Gonzalez.

"It is important that the Organising Committee uses this strength to their full advantage between now and the Games."

The project review also included updates on sport, broadcasting, communications, venues and accommodation, look and brand, transport, ticketing, commercial and sponsorship, National Paralympic Committee services and Paralympic Torch Relay.

"Preparations for Sochi 2014 are really stepping up now with many of the venues and infrastructure coming online," said Gonzalez.

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Sochi Olympic Village 'Ready by October'
17:36 19/12/2012

MOSCOW, December 19 (R-Sport) – Sochi's mountain-based Olympic village will be ready by October 2013, an official with constructor Gazprom said Wednesday.

The mountain village will accommodate 1,050 participants in biathlon and cross-country skiing, events set for nearby "Laura" complex on the slopes of the Psekhako Ridge.

“The construction of the mountain Olympic village is not yet finished, however the cottage settlement is ready,” Matvey Geller said. “Other facilities are still under construction. We assume they will be put in commission in October 2013.”

Besides the cottage settlement, there will be a hotel complex and apartments, the construction of which is complicated by the undulating terrain.

“The relief is very difficult here and it is very high up, that’s why the work is conducted under severe conditions.”

The cottages will welcome the first athletes in February, when the Laura complex will be tested during a Cross-Country World Cup stage.

Last week, world-record pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva was named the mayor of the coastal Olympic village, while the head of the mountain village will be appointed later.


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Source please?

And also how much was the budget of Vancouver and London ceremonies again?

Vancouver's was $49 million for Opening and Closing and London was $43.8 for opening and $32.5 for closing so a total of $76

Sochi's total is for both

All amounts in USA dollars.

Opening of Winter Olympics in Russia to cost $52 million

The opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics will cost Russia about $52 million. The nonprofit agency for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games will receive a subsidy for preparing and organizing the events. The bulk of the money will be spent on technical facilities and foreign designers.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said that it was decided to assign 1.6 billion rubles to prepare opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. The loan makes up 1.6 billion rubles ($ 52 million). For comparison - the opening and closing of the Olympic Games in London in 2012 cost about $65 million, so Russian specialists have something to look up to.

According to publications in the Russian media, the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics 2014 is scheduled for February 7, 2014. It is planned that characters of Russian fairy tales, the Russian troika of Gogol's "Dead Souls", Peter the Great leading the fleet of five ships will appear on three stages. From the Imperial Russia, viewers will be taken to the XX century. Fifteen buildings will appear on the stadium, as well as six locomotives, six bridges and sculptures. The opening ceremony will end with the advent of the Olympic flame. The above-mentioned nonprofit agency chaired by Konstantin Ernst also will organize the opening and closing of the Paralympic Games to be held in Sochi on 7-16 March 2014.

Students of circus and dance schools will also participate in the opening ceremony.

Experts already say that the Winter Olympics in Russia's Sochi in 2014 will be the most expensive Olympics in history. Sochi 2014 may cost more than $30 billion in total

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Vancouver's was $49 million for Opening and Closing and London was $43.8 for opening and $32.5 for closing so a total of $76

No London was for both Ceremonies GBP 81 million = USD 132 million !!!!! (Source : IOC - London 2012 Debrief)


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Regarding Vancouver for all Ceremonies (including Paralympics & victory ceremonies), the budget was CAD 79.1 million = USD 80 million (Source : VANOC Final Financial Report)

Total ceremonies costs were $79.1 million for the Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies, as well as victory ceremony costs in Vancouver.
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Sochi's ceremonies will cost $52 million

I have no official confirmation of this amount, but when you know Russians... it looks low !

And when you read the article of the Pravda, it's look like this is only the susbsidy that has been decided to give for the Opening & Closing, not the full amount :

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said that it was decided to assign 1.6 billion rubles to prepare opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. The loan makes up 1.6 billion rubles ($ 52 million).

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I have no official confirmation of this amount, but when you know Russians... it looks low !

And when you read the article of the Pravda, it's look like this is only the susbsidy that has been decided to give for the Opening & Closing, not the full amount :

Where else would funding come from??

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Sochi receives massive makover for Winter Games

Russia is creating breathtaking facilities that will serve its athletes beyond Olympic spectacle



A general view of Iceberg Skating Palace and the Fisht Olympic Stadium construction site at the Olympic Park in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on Dec. 9, 2012. The Olympic Park will be able to accommodate about 75,000 visitors when full, and all the ice arenas will be within walking distance of one other. Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Photograph by: Mikhail Mordasov , AFP/Getty Images


There’s dust in the air in Sochi. And cranes. And workers on roofs. And sounds of the construction that’s transforming this section of Russia into the face the country will present to the world when the Sochi Olympic Games begin in February 2014.

This is no minor project. With a reported budget of $18 billion, these will be the most expensive Winter Olympic Games in history.

By comparison, Vancouver-Whistler required a minor facelift at one-third of the cost: improvements to the Sea to Sky Highway here, the new Canada Line there. Touch-ups to Rogers Arena and BC Place Stadium, a new Olympic oval, curling venue and convention centre.

In Russia, everything is being built exclusively for the Games. That includes not only every venue for the ice events that will be contested in a coastal cluster on the Black Sea, but an entire mountain resort at Krasnaya Polyana to host the alpine events, and new hotels to house the athletes, media, officials and spectators.

A few years ago, nothing existed in these mountains. Now, there are ski hills, a sliding centre, ski jumps, a halfpipe tunnel, and a cross-country and biathlon centre.

Not only are existing roadways being improved, but work is underway on a new rail line and highway linking the coast to the mountains. It’s a 48-kilometre journey from the coastal cluster of venues to the mountain cluster, making these the most compact Games in Winter Olympic history.

Meanwhile, improvements to the transportation system between Moscow and Sochi, which is 1,300 km south of the capital on the Black Sea, should cut the travel time in half.

“You’re visiting one of the most exciting parts of the world, in terms of what’s happening,” Kevan Gosper, chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s press commission, told journalists at the World Press Briefing in Sochi last month.

“What Russia is doing with Sochi to showcase itself to the world is very much like what the Chinese did with the Beijing Olympics. Russia is making a new presentation of itself to the world through these Games. ... It’s one of the most extraordinary transformations of a community I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the fastest-changing landscapes not just in Europe, but on the globe.”

Sochi, post-Olympics

For Russians, these Games are about much more than the face they present to the world in 2014 — a year that marks the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections held in the country since 1917.

It offers a chance to re-establish itself as a sporting power. When the Soviet Union broke apart, the country lost many of its winter sport venues when Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia gained their independence.

Since topping the tables at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer — when 11 of the team’s 23 medals were golden — the best Russia has finished at a Winter Games is third, dropping to 11th in Vancouver with just three gold medals and 15 overall.

These new venues, Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov said, will create the basis for athletes to compete successfully at future world championships and Olympic Games.

“We have never had good enough facilities for them to train and dream,” he said.

Indeed, plans are underway post-Games to make the region a year-round training centre for elite athletes, even creating a school for them while they train.

“These are unprecedented events that are taking place in our city. Clearly, through the Olympics, Sochi is becoming our winter sport centre,” said Pakhomov.

“There was a need to provide the winter athletes of Russia with quality sporting venues,” echoed Gosper. “With the coming of the Russian Games, you watch the Russians build their Olympic performance like London did with Team GB.”

Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of Sochi 2014, said bidding for big events — from the Olympics to the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Russia in 2018 — “is a deliberate strategy from our nation and leaders to start the process of redevelopment in our country for a greater way of life.”

And the impact, he said, will go well beyond sports.

These Games will “enhance the quality of lives of millions of Russians, not only in Sochi but across the country.”

Not everyone would agree. There has been much public outcry about the forced evictions of Sochi residents whose homes were on land needed for Olympic venues and infrastructure. Indeed, Human Rights Watch has criticized Russian authorities for their treatment of some of the families.

According to The Moscow Times, the Russian government has spent more than $300 million to resettle residents or compensate them for their losses.

Houses still stand empty, in some cases derelict, waiting to be plowed down in parts of the coastal Olympic Park. Some of the homes were in prime locations, just a stone’s throw from the Black Sea.

The dead were treated a little differently, with a small cemetery preserved in a corner of the Coastal Cluster of venues.

But the impact the development is having on the local economy is obvious. One need only look at the construction in the area on hotels and roadways.

According to Chernyshenko, more than 76,000 workers have been employed in the leadup to the Games.

More than 27,000 new hotel rooms are being built, along with 74 social infrastructure venues and 567 kilometres of rail and auto roads, with 22 tunnels.

Four new schools have been built in Sochi, while 36 have been renovated.

Two hospitals are being built, along with a trauma and surgery centre.

“This is a very good example of how venues of sport and a sport event can change a whole city, a region, or even a country or the world, for the better,” Pakhomov said.

The green approach

The development of the region has also provided an impetus for the Russians to improve the way they do business. Having endured criticism early on for the environmental impact of the construction projects, organizers have of late won praise for their efforts.

“We’re going green where before it didn’t exist,” Chernyshenko said.

“This is a legacy of the Olympic process.”

The Sochi 2014 organizing committee received recognition at the International Sports Event Management Awards Conference for their efforts at sustainable development and environmental protection.

The venues have been certified as being “green,” while organizers have pledged a climate-neutral Games.

While accessibility wasn’t a priority pre-Olympics, the Paralympics have changed the way venues are built — and led to improvements in existing facilities, with more than 500 sites reviewed for accessibility.

And the volunteer movement — which was non-existent in Russia before Sochi won the 2014 Olympics — is thriving. While fewer than one per cent of Russians previously volunteered, that number has climbed to between two and nine per cent, according to Sochi 2014 figures.

More than 130,000 people applied for 3,000 Olympic positions when a call for volunteers went out in February, and 26 volunteer centres have now been set up throughout Russia.

“We started the volunteer movement in our country, which I’m ashamed to say didn’t exist before,” Chernyshenko said. “Thanks to that, the volunteer movement has started to operate very productively in our country and after the Games there will be millions of volunteers. In my opinion, that is the best intangible legacy of the Games.”

When the eyes of the world turn to Sochi in 2014, they will see those volunteers. They will see the new venues, the new roads, the new railway. They will see a city previously known as a summer resort — basking in a sub-tropical climate, protected from Arctic air by the Caucasus Mountains, with 300 sunny days per year — transformed into a modern winter mecca.

They will see, Chernyshenko said, “the new Mother Russia.”

“Every Olympic Games should surpass the one before,” he said. “To organize the Games after Vancouver, London and Beijing is a big challenge, but we will succeed.”

He’s not alone in that opinion.

“I personally believe that Sochi in 2014 will deliver one of the great Games — not just one of the great Winter Games — of our times,” said Gosper.

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