The IOC Coordination Commission for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games today wrapped up its seventh visit to Sochi, Russia, as local organisers begin the transition from the construction and planning phase of preparations to the operational readiness phase. The Coordination Commission began its three-day visit by taking in the first FIS Alpine Ski World Cup event held in Russia, at Rosa Khutor – the future home of the Alpine ski events for Sochi 2014 – and meeting the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, who reiterated the state’s strong support for the 2014 Games.
Speaking at the World Cup event, IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy described the venue as “one of the most spectacular downhill courses on the World Cup circuit.” In addition to being well-received by the Commission, the event garnered positive reviews from athletes, team delegations and the media.
“The Sochi 2014 venues and operations will be tested, re-tested and tested again over the next two years. We have now seen two of the most difficult sports events to stage on the winter Olympic programme take place on these new Olympic courses,” said Chairman Killy, referring to the downhill and super combined. “The fact that the venues have been so well-received is a credit to the five years of hard work undertaken by the local organisers and their partners, their teamwork and their ability to deliver.”
Over 60 sports events are scheduled to take place in Sochi before the start of the Games on 7 February 2014. The Commission paid visits to a number of other Games venues, including the freestyle, jumping and sliding centres, the Olympic villages, the Olympic stadium, and the Olympic park. While there is still plenty of work to be done, venue and related infrastructure construction is on the right track to be ready for the Games.
During meetings on 13 and 14 February, the Commission heard reports on a number of Games-related topics, including sport, athletes services, National Olympic Committee services, International Federation services, construction, media services, transport, workforce, accommodation, Games operations, spectator services, the Paralympic Games, marketing, medical services, legacy and technology.
IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli commented: “We have been very impressed by the quality and detail of the presentations that have been made this week. The Sochi 2014 team is of the highest calibre and we can see that they have excellent relationships with their stakeholders, which is crucial to the successful delivery of the Games.”
Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 President and CEO, remarked: “It has been thrilling to see world class winter sport on Sochi’s Olympic slopes this week. We have remained on the right track during our planning and construction to date, with today marking the exciting transition to the readiness phase, in which we will robustly test our venues to guarantee we are fully prepared for 2014. Our innovative Hot Snow programme is one example of how we are taking every measure to be 100 per cent ready for the Games. While we’re expecting perfect weather conditions, Hot Snow has provided a successful method for guaranteeing snow covering on the slopes.
The first week of volunteer sign-up showed us very high interest from Russia and abroad, with nearly 200,000 visitors to the official website and 34,000 applications sent in already. We’ve even received requests to become a volunteer from Ghana, the Dominican Republic and Kenya.”
As part of its visit, the delegation also met Sochi 2014 Ambassador Yuri Bashmet at the Bolshoi Ice Palace, where the violinist played a 30-minute concert with “The Soloists of Moscow” for construction workers as part of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad’s Year of Music. Organised by Sochi 2014, the Cultural Olympiad will deliver a broad range of cultural activities to the public via concerts, festivals and exhibitions.