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Olympic Games 2014 Russian Officials Triumph
June 7, 2007 10:47

Russian politicians seem to be absolutely sure that Sochi is going to host the 2014 winter Olympics, though the city hasn’t been announced yet. E.g., Russian minister of Economic development and Trade German Gref said the other day that all construction works would be finished in 2013, a year prior to the Olympics.

4 July is the day when the International Olympic Committee is to name the city ready to hold winter Olympic Games of 2014, and only a few weeks are left. To say that the Russians are waiting for the decision to be announced is to say nothing. A great stir was created by the Russian officials about it, Russian singers have composed an anthem for the Olympics, Russian businessmen have invested millions of rubles in the infrastructure, the project is supported by the government, so it is no wonder that almost all Russian people are standing for the Games.

Besides, there is another explanation why the Olympics are so important for Russia: since the Soviet Union collapsed and former Soviet republics separated, Russia hasn’t managed to build sport facilities necessary for training. That is why, for instance, Russian bobbers have to train in Finland at the moment. Sochi is a candidate city, which means it will grow and various sport objects will be constructed there.

Meanwhile, with time passing by, Russian civil servants are becoming more ambitious, they claim that the Federal Program of development of the city will not be stopped, even if Sochi loses the competition. They are undoubtedly going to win.

Unfortunately, the international Olympic Committee doesn’t share their opinion and can’t guarantee that all works will be finished on time. Besides, other candidates look preferable to Sochi and don’t have to build all sport facilities from nothing.

 According to the IOC report, published on the official site, Russian Sochi is evidently inferior to South Korean PyeongChang, which is favoured by the International Olympic Committee at the moment. The point is that the Korean candidate possesses a developed infrastructure right now (about 30% of the sport facilities are now ready for competitions or will be reconstructed in the near future), but Sochi has still too much to built, the volume of prospected works is enormous, which is a question to worry about for the Committee.

 Certainly there are candidates yielding to Sochi, and Austrian Salzburg is among them. The city doesn’t meet three terms – accommodation, transport and security. Transportation is the main problem of the Austrian city, due to its location in the centre of Europe, where roads are now overloaded with cars and traffic jams are not something unexpected, and the situation is unlikely to change, especially with thousands of tourists and sport fans coming to see the Olympics. Against Salzburg Sochi’s bid benefits by its fast developing transport system and hotels rising like mushrooms after summer rains.

Although Sochi is not the first on the list of applicants, the Russian politicians consider the trick done and have informed all Russian state-supported TV channels about it. They say the IOC report doesn’t contain any criticisms and Sochi stands to win after the report was published. All this sounds at least strange and conceited, but what it is done for, we’ll see later, 4 July.



Olga Pletneva

Tags: Sochi 2014     

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