2014 Winter Olympics

2014 Winter Olympics
XXII Olympic Winter Games
Sochi 2014 - Logo.svg
Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics official logo
Host city Sochi, Russia
Motto Gateway to the Future
Events 98 in 15 sports
Opening ceremony 7 February
Closing ceremony 23 February
Stadium Olympic Stadium
Olympic rings.svg 2014 Winter Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, or the 22nd Winter Olympics, is a major international multi-sport event scheduled to be celebrated from 7 to 23 February 2014, in Sochi,[1] Russia with some events held in the resort town of Krasnaya Polyana. Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are being organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOOC). The 2014 Winter Olympics will become the second Olympics hosted by Russia. Previously, Russia hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. These are the first Olympics (and first Winter Olympics altogether) for the Russian Federation however, as the 1980 Summer Olympics were in the former Soviet Union.

Following Olympic tradition, Sochi mayor Anatoliy Pakhomov received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.



Bid and preparations

Main article:

The city was elected on 4 July 2007, during the 119th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Guatemala City, Guatemala.[2] This will be the first time that the Russian Federation will host the Winter Olympics; the Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.

Then Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the IOC session on 4 July 2007 in Guatemala City on behalf of the 2014 Sochi bid.
2014 Winter Olympics bidding results[3]
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2
Sochi  Russia 34 51
Pyeongchang  South Korea 36 47
Salzburg  Austria 25


According to Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko, the successful partnership and commercial programs will allow to use funds generated by Sochi 2014 for the 2009–2010 development period, postponing the need for the state funds guaranteed by the Russian Government. He confirmed that the Organizing Committee has successfully generated more than $500 million through the marketing program in the first five months of 2009.[4]

Russia is currently providing nearly 327 billion rubles (approximately US$10.85 billion[5]) for the total development, expansion and hosting of the Games. 192.4 billion rubles are coming from the Federal budget and 7.1 billion rubles from the Krasnodar Krai budget and from the Sochi budget. Sochi 2014 expects to have a surplus of $300 Million once the games are over.[6]

The following funds were approved within the Federal budget for the development of Sochi:[7]

Funds approved
from 2006 until 2014
Year Billions of rubles
2006 4.9
2007 15.9
2008 31.6
2009 27.3
2010 22.2
2011 27.1
2012 26.3
2013 22.1
2014 8.4

Financing from non-budget sources (including private investor funds) is distributed as follows:[8]

  • Tourist infrastructure – $2.6 billion;
  • Olympic venues – $500 million;
  • Transport infrastructure – $270 million;
  • Power supply infrastructure – $100 million.


Sochi Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)

This sketch shows the Olympic Park concept with all venues gathered around the Medals Plaza

The Sochi Olympic Park will be built by the Black Sea coast in the Imeretin Valley.[9] All the venues listed below are new and need to be built. The venues will be clustered around a central water basin on which the Medals Plaza will be built. This will provide a great compactness of the concept with the Olympic Stadium and all indoor venues of the Olympics gathered within walking distance.

After the Olympics, it is planned to use the cluster area as part of Formula One street circuit. This deal was signed on 14 October 2010 though it could be delayed to the 2014 Games. The contract runs to 2020.[11]

Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)

  • Biathlon & Ski Complex – Biathlon, Cross-country skiing and Nordic combined (cross-country skiing)
  • Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard Park – Freestyle skiing and Snowboarding
  • Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort – Alpine skiing
  • Russian National Sliding Centre – Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton
  • Russian National Ski Jumping Centre – Ski jumping and Nordic combined (ski jumping)
  • Rosa Khutor Plateau Olympic Village

As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings, Sochi 2014 is the 12th straight Olympics to outlaw smoking. This means that all Sochi venues, Olympic Park bars and restaurants and public areas will be smoke-free during the games.


Along with 2008 Russian presidential election, on 2 March 2008 there was an unofficial referendum held in Sochi to elect the mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympics. 270,000 voters along with their ballots received a coupon with four mascot candidates: Ded Moroz, a snowflake, a polar bear and a dolphin. According to a representative of Sochi city administration, the majority of Sochians voted for the dolphin.[12] However, representatives of the Sochi Organizing Committee for the Games, which is to officially elect a logo and a mascot, commented, that while respecting the opinion of Sochians, such a procedure is usually held later. They also pointed out, that the final version of the mascot should be a consensus of opinions of all citizens of the country and the result of work by professional designers and market analysts.[13]

On 1 December 2009 the official 2014 Winter Olympic logo was released.[14] International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, said of the logo: "It's very appealing. It's very creative, innovative. I think it will appeal especially to the young population."[15]

There has been controversy over the announced mascots. The frog Zoich, which won the official online vote was inexplicably excluded by officials from the second round of voting. The ultimately selected mascots: a polar bear, snow hare, and snowboarding leopard (said to be Vladimir Putin's favorite) found only timid popular support.

"sochi2014.ru" is the only Olympic emblem to include a web address. The mirror of "Sochi" and "2014" 'reflects' that Sochi is a meeting point between sea and mountains. As the main component of the Sochi 2014 emblem, the Olympic rings sit large and in color to show that this is a symbol of progress for the Olympic Movement.[citation needed] The change of colours and inner design of the rest of the emblem encourages people to express themselves, with some expected to transform it using traditional images, while others will take an ultra-modern approach.


The Russian military have offered to provide the S-400 Triumf advanced surface-to-air missile system as part of the large-scale security measures during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.[16]

The South Ossetia armed conflict, which occurred in 2008, sparked concerns regarding the preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which is located close to the disputed region of Abkhazia.[17][18] In the aftermath of the war, the Georgian National Olympic Committee asked, in November 2008, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reconsider its decision to hold the Olympics on the territory “adjacent both to the [Russian-] occupied Abkhaz conflict zone, and to the extremely unstable and volatile North Caucasus”.[19] The IOC responded that ensuring security at the Sochi Olympics was up to Russian organizers,[20] and rejected Georgia's request.[21]


On 26 February, at 11.20 pm (GMT+3) the final results of the public vote during the live television show "Talismaniya Sochi 2014 – The Final” were announced on Channel One. The election council made the decision that the top-three characters with maximum number of votes would all become the Olympic Winter Games mascots:[22]

  • the Polar Bear (by Oleg Serdechniy, Sochi),
  • the Hare (by Silviya Petrova, New Buyanovo village of Yankovsky region, Chuvash republic),
  • the Leopard (by Vadim Pak, Nakhodka).

Commenting on the results of the live vote, Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said:

«Today, the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have adopted its own symbols and, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Movement, the whole country was involved in choosing the mascots. There are three mascots for the Olympic Winter Games, representing the three places on the Olympic podium. All top-three characters according to the Olympic system will become the Olympic Winter Games mascots. The mascots are the choice of the whole our country and will remain in the history of the Olympic movement».

In the episode "Boy Meets Curl" of the animated television show The Simpsons, Bart Simpson creates an imaginary male mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympics called "Fatov" using a pin of this character by cutting out part of Homer's face from his driver's license and adding eyes to the chin. He then trades it to the collectable pin salesman for Lisa's pearls. The salesman is enchanted by the pin and has a romantic fantasy (referencing Dr. Zhivago including the music) of spending time with the "real" Fatov. According to Bart, Fatov represents "the Russian spirit of sloth and alcoholism."[23]


The Olympic infrastructure is being constructed according to a Federal Target Program (FTP). In June 2009 the Games organizers reported they are one year ahead in building the main Olympic facilities as compared to all of the latest Olympic Games.[24]


According to the FTP, $580 million will be spent on construction and modernization of telecommunications in the region.

Expected to be built:

  • A network of TETRA mobile radio communications for 100 user groups (with capacity of 10 thousand subscribers);
  • 700 km (430 mi) of fiber-optic cables along the Anapa-Dzhubga-Sochi highways and Dzhubga-Krasnodar branch;
  • Digital broadcasting infrastructure, including radio and TV broadcasting stations (building and communications tower) with coverage from Grushevaya Polyana (Pear Glade) to Sochi and Anapa cities. The project also includes construction of infocommunications centre for broadcasting abroad via three HDTV satellites.

During the Olympic Games, the telecommunications backbones of UTK, Rostelecom and TransTeleCom providers will be used.[25]

The fiber-optic channel links Sochi between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana. The 46 km (29 mi) long channel will enable videoconferencing and news reporting from the Olympics.[26]

Power infrastructure

A five year strategy for increasing power supply in the Sochi region was presented by Russian energy experts during a seminar on 29 May 2009, held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, and attended by International Olympic Committee (IOC) experts and officials from the Russian Ministry of Regional Development, the Russian Ministry of Energy, the State Corporation Olimpstroy and the Krasnodar Krai administration.[27]

The event was a part of the Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM) program by the IOC.

According to the strategy, the capacity of the regional energy network will increase by two and a half times by 2014, guaranteeing stable power supply during and after the Games.

Power demand of Sochi in the end of May 2009 was 424 MW. Power demand of the Olympic infrastructure is expected to be about 340 MW.

  • "Poselkovaya" electrical substation became operational in early 2009.
  • Sochi thermal power station is being reconstructed (expected power output is 160 MW).
  • "Laura" and "Rosa Khutor" electrical substations were completed in November 2010.
  • "Mzymta" electrical substation was completed in March 2011.
  • "Krasnopolyanskaya" hydroelectric power station was completed in 2010.
  • Adler CHP station design and construction will be completed in 2012. Expected power output is 360 MW.[28]
  • "Bytkha" substation, to be constructed with two transformers 25 MW each, will include dependable microprocessor-based protection.

Earlier plans also include building combined cycle (steam and gas) power stations near the cities of Tuapse and Novorossiysk and construction of a cable-wire powerline, partially on the floor of the Black Sea.[29]


The transportation infrastructure being prepared to support the Olympics includes many roads, tunnels, bridges, interchanges, railroads and stations in and around Sochi.

The Sochi Light Metro will be constructed between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana to connect the Olympic Park, the airport and the venues in Krasnaya Polyana.

The existing 102 km Tuapse to Adler railroad will be reconstructed to provide double track throughout, increasing capacity and enabling a reliable regional service to be provided. The railroad will also be extended to the airport. In December 2009 Russian Railways ordered 38 Siemens Mobility Desiro trains for delivery in 2013 for use during the Olympics, with an option for a further 16 which would be partly built in Russia.[30]

Russian Railways is going to establish a high-speed Moscow-Adler link and a new railroad (more than 60 km long) passing by the territory of Ukraine.[31]

At the Sochi airport, a new terminal has been built and a 3.5 km (2.2 mi) runway extension is planned, possibly overlapping Mzymta river.[32] Backup airports will be built in Gelendzhik, Mineralnye Vody and Krasnodar by 2009.[33]

At the Sochi sea port, a new offshore terminal will be constructed 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the shore to allow docking for cruise ships with capacities of 3000 passengers.[34] The cargo terminal of the sea port is to be moved from the Sochi centre.

Road ways will be detoured, some going around the construction site and others being cut off.[35]

In May 2009 Russian Railways started the construction of tunnel complex No.1 (the total will be six) on the combined road (automobile and railway) from Adler to Alpica Service Mountain Resort in Krasnaya Polyana region. The tunnel complex No.1 is located near Akhshtyr settlement in Adlersky City District, and includes:[36]

  • escape tunnel, 2.25 km, completed in 2010,
  • road tunnel, 2153 m, to be completed in Q1 2013,
  • one-track railway tunnel, 2473 m, to be completed in Q2 2013.

Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin said the road construction will cost more than 200 billion rubles.[37]

Other infrastructure

Funds will be spent on construction of 15 modern sport venues and some hotels for 10,300 guests.[38] The first of the Olympic hotels, "Zvezdny" (Stellar), will be rebuilt anew.[39]

"Federation Island" will be built in the sea near the Lesser Akhun subdistrict of Khostinsky City District. The island will be shaped like the Russian Federation. It will hold hotels and offices.[40][41]

Significant funds are to be spent on construction of advanced sewage treatment system in Sochi, being designed by Olimpstroy. The system meets BREF standards and employs top available technologies for environment protection, including tertiary treatment with microfiltration.[42]

The Games


Fifteen winter sports events were included in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The eight sports categorized as ice sports were: bobsled, luge, skeleton, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating and curling. The three sports categorized as alpine skiing and snowboarding events were: alpine, freestyle and snowboarding. The four sports categorized as Nordic events were: biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined. A total of twelve new events in five sports will be contested at these games.[43]

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each sport.

On 6 April 2011, the IOC accepted a number of events that were submitted by their respective sports federations to be considered for inclusion into the official program of these Olympic Games.[44] The events include:

Other events that were also considered to be included had their decision postponed for further study, however on 4 July 2011 the IOC announced both these events would be added to the program.[45] These three disciplines were officially declared by Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on 5 July 2011.[43]

Team alpine skiing was presented as a candidate for inclusion in the Olympic program but the Executive board of the IOC rejected this proposal. The International Ski Federation persisted with the nomination and this is being considered.[46] There were reports of Bandy potentially being added to the sports program,[47] but the IOC rejected this request.[44] Subsequently, the international governing body, Federation of International Bandy, decided to have Sochi host the 2014 Bandy World Championships during the Olympics.[48][49]

On 28 November 2006, the Executive Board of the IOC decided not to include the following sports in the review process of the program.[50]


  • Medals awarded for each day does not reflect new additions such as ski-cross.
OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Event finals EG Exhibition gala CC Closing ceremony
February 7th
Ceremonies OC CC
Alpine skiing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
Biathlon 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 11
Bobsleigh 1 1 1 3
Cross country skiing 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 12
Curling 1 1 2
Figure skating 1 1 1 1 EG 5
Freestyle skiing 1 1 1 1 10
Ice hockey 1 1 2
Luge 1 1 1 4
Nordic combined 1 1 1 3
Short track speed skating 1 1 2 1 3 8
Skeleton 1 1 2
Ski jumping 1 1 1 4
Snowboarding 1 1 2 1 1 12
Speed skating 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 12
Total events 98
Cumulative total 98
February 7th

Concerns and controversies


Despite several expert statements[55][56] that the construction of Olympic venues in the buffer area of the UNESCO protected Caucasus Biosphere Reserve and Sochi National Park could be harmful, the IOC approved the plans. Greenpeace of Russia said that the IOC and the Russian Government assume all responsibility for any damage to the West Caucasus natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the Sochi bid, a wide array of construction is planned in the Grushevyi Ridge area. They include a cascade of hydroelectric power stations on the Mzymta River, sewage treatment facilities, a high-speed rail link, a Mountain Olympic Village, a track for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton (which was relocated in May 2009), and a biathlon venue. Alpine skiing venues are being constructed in the Rosa Khutor plateau and the Psekhako Ridge area. Environmentalists propose building up Krasnaya Polyana instead of destroying nature reserve sites. Plans for construction of Olympic venues have been criticized by environmentalists as an opportunity to re-zone and partition the Sochi National Park, to allow sale of land to the private sector for development.[citation needed]

Environmentalists also oppose the plan of construction of a cargo terminal for ships in the mouth of the Psou River in the Imereti Lowland, because this could lead to the destruction of the largest areas of sea-flooded shore and marshes.[57]

On 3 July 2008, Vladimir Putin directed some of the Olympic venues, such as the luge and bobsleigh track, to be relocated (The Russian National Sliding Centre was relocated in May 2009.). He said "In setting our priorities and choosing between money and the environment, we're choosing the environment."[58][59][60]

Geologist Dr Sergei Volkov has fled to the Ukraine after speaking out about environmental and geological problems. He claims that mercury and uranium deposits, as well as the probability of landslides, make the location of the games hazardous. He also claims that the location of a cargo port was inappropriate. A storm there killed three seamen and destroyed $14 million of infrastructure.[61]


According to IRN.Ru analytical agency, prices for land, located next to the shoreline, reach $150,000 per 100 m²,[62] while price per square metre in average panel apartment building on the outskirts of the city already reaches $2000. "As a result of 2014 Olympics euphoria prices will rise annually by 15–20%," speculates Irina Tyurina, press secretary of Russian Tourist Industry Union. This could lead to decrease in tourist interest to Sochi, which already has fallen below Anapa, Gelendzhik and Adler.[38]

After the IOC Evaluation Commission visited Sochi in February 2007, local authorities promised to buy the lands from Lower Imereti Bay long-time residents for a fair market price. But during the following half a year, no local resident could get his land approved as private property.[56]


Circassian organisations have also spoken out against the Olympics, pointing out that the Games will take place on land that had been inhabited by them since the beginning of recorded history by their ancestors until 1864,[63][64] when the Russian-Circassian War forced up to 97 percent of the Circassians to move to the Ottoman Empire.[65] They are demanding the Sochi 2014 Olympics be cancelled or moved unless Russia apologises for what the Circassians regard to be a genocide.[66] Some Circassian groups have not expressed outright opposition to the Olympics but argue that symbols of Circassian history and culture should be included in the format, as Australia, United States, and Canada did with their indigenous populations in 2000, 2002, and 2010 respectively.[67]

The games are viewed to be particularly offensive because they include the date of the 150th anniversary of what they consider a genocide. It has thus been a rallying cry for Circassian nationalists.[68][69]

In particular, there is much ire over the use of a hill called "Red Hill".[70] In 1864, a group of Circassians apparently tried to return home but were attacked and a battle ensued, ending in their massacre, and attaining the name "Red Hill" (for the blood spilt). There will be skiing and snowboarding on this hill.[70]

Political stability and governance

The 2008 South Ossetia war, which broke out at the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics, surprised the Olympic community. "It is not what the world wants to see. It is contrary to what the Olympic ideal stands for," said an IOC spokesperson.[17] However, in November 2008, the IOC turned down a request by the Georgian National Olympic Committee to reconsider its decision to hold the Olympics on the territory "adjacent both to the [Russian-] occupied Abkhaz conflict zone, and to the extremely unstable and volatile North Caucasus".[19]

Related concerns persist, regarding the region's safety and the desirability of hosting an Olympics in a conflict-ridden zone. "The region is such a muddied and bloodied aquarium of conflict that to pick out any one fish is impossible," says Oleg Nechiporenko, chief analyst for Russia's National Anti-Terrorist and Anti-Criminal Fund, in response to a 26 May 2010, car bombing, whose suspects include Russian nationalists, local mafia groups, separatists and islamists in the North Caucasus, or a remnant of the war in Abhazia[71]

Sochi borders Russia's six autonomous North Caucasus republics, home of the Second Chechen War and all of whom face "severe social problems that stem from massive unemployment and bad governance".[72]

Russian Envoy to the North Caucasus Alexander Khloponin told local law enforcement that "the violent scramble for assets" is likely to get worse as Russia invests heavily in tourist infrastructure and Olympic-caliber ski resorts.[73]

Olympic Truce Sponsors

With a vote looming on the Olympic Truce at the United Nations, 177 countries are now co-sponsors of the truce.

The goal, according to a statement posted on the United Kingdom’s Permanent Mission to the UN, is to have all Member States as sponsors. There are 193 members of the UN General Assembly.

The official title of the Truce is: “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”. LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe will table the resolution, scheduled for a 10 a.m. vote on Oct. 17.[74]

Broadcasting rights

See also

Olympic Rings.svg Olympics portal


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  41. ^ Arabians will own 70% of the island in Sochi. DP.RU, 24 September 2007 (Russian)
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