Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sochi 2014 moves into Games-delivery phase

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission paid its fifth visit to Sochi, Russia, and confirmed that preparations for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games are moving quickly into the Games-delivery phase. The Coordination Commission, chaired by Jean-Claude Killy and supported by IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, held meetings from 21 to 23 March, which provided members with a full update on the progress of preparations for the next edition of the Winter Games. Speaking after the event, Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy said, "Once again, we’ve seen great progress during our visit to Sochi (...)On the construction front, the initial vision for the transformation of the region is starting to materialise, with infrastructure and venues rapidly rising from the ground. The mascots have been selected, and planning is reaching a new level of detail. Sochi 2014 is starting to bring its Games vision to life, and is delivering on the legacy of improving the living conditions in the region through bringing infrastructural and environmental improvements". During the visit, the Commission was able to see first-hand the advances being made on the sites of the Alpine skiing slopes and the sliding track. The Commission also received updates on a variety of topics, including venues and infrastructure, product and experience, International Federations and sport, National Olympic Committee and athlete services, media services, the Paralympic Games, marketing and sponsor services, Games operations and services, communications, the environment, culture and education. The Commission identified four priorities that the organizers must continue to focus on over the coming weeks and months:

  • Identifying, recruiting and training the workforce for the Games will require a nationwide effort, and providing accommodation for that workforce and visitors to the Games remains a top priority.

  • A precise staff relocation plan was presented to the Commission, outlining the large numbers of people that will soon be moving from Moscow to Sochi. This is an important and symbolic step in making the Games even more of a reality for the local population.

  • Olympic-related transport infrastructure will be of the highest quality, but the planning to ensure a top-level client experience within the transport system is crucial to the success of the Games.

  • Finally, the great ambition of the local authorities to create a year-round centre for tourism is becoming a reality. It is the entire hospitality industry that must be mobilised.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected Sochi as the host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 during its 119th Session in Guatemala City. The Russian resort triumphed over competing bids from Pyongchang in South Korea and Salzburg in Austria. Set between the golden shores of the Black Sea and the soaring snow-capped Caucasus mountains, Sochi is a treasure among winter sport enthusiasts, who can discover here a paradise of alpine valleys and skiing trails. Beautiful weather and an abundance of powdery snow are enough reasons to travel to Sochi. The Caucasus Mountains, which form a backdrop to Sochi, are one of the few large mountain areas in the world that have escaped significant human impact. Extensive tracts of undisturbed forests, from the lowlands to the sub-alpine zone, are unique in Europe. The mountain scenery of high peaks, wide valleys, mountain lakes and 60 remnant glaciers will be an unforgettable but undisturbed backdrop to the most celebrated winter sporting event in the world.

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