Sochi 2014 has celebrated 1,000 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, which will take place on 7 February 2014. The celebrations took place right across the Russian Federation and saw Omega unveil its countdown clock in the host city. Sochi 2014 also officially opened 26 volunteer centres, spread throughout the entire country, which will no doubt help to spread Sochi’s Olympic message far and wide. The Omega countdown clock for Sochi 2014 was unveiled in the centre of the city this weekend, and its design is intended to capture and reflect the spirit of a dynamic and diverse region which is defined as much by its history and tradition as by its contemporary outlook. The clock's size, shape and colours communicate the contrasting landscape in Sochi, which features both majestic mountains and the Black Sea. One side of the clock countdowns to the Olympic Games opening, while the reverse side counts down to the opening of the Paralympic Games. A countdown clock was first introduced for the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and since then, these clocks have become one of the most photographed Olympic images at the Games.
Events to mark this significant milestone in the Games preparations were held nationwide and were principally themed around the environment, healthy living, education, and culture. The events included 1,000 Olympic lessons, a 1,000-metre dash, an Olympic warm-up, a hot-pot banquet, tree plantings, litter clearing, and Olympic days for youngsters in children’s homes. Sochi 2014’s partners also got heavily involved in the day’s celebrations, running a number of events in cities across the territory.
Gala concerts in Moscow and Sochi provided a grand finale to the "1000 Days to the Games" festivities. The Moscow concert (presented by Rosneft) set a Russian record for the over-all number of people (1927) performing the composition the "Bogatyrskaya Sila" song. The culmination of this massive flash-mob was marked by volunteers unfurling a gigantic map of Russia on which Moscow and Sochi were shown bound together.
IOC Sochi 2014 Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy said: "It was great to see the whole of Russia getting involved in Sochi 2014’s 1,000-days-to-go celebrations. The excitement and engagement that we witnessed across the country were exceptional, and will no doubt continue to increase with the nationwide opening of Sochi’s volunteer centres. In addition, the unveiling of the stunning countdown clock serves to remind us all that this great country will soon be playing host to the world and its finest winter athletes. With 1,000 days to go, the clock is now really ticking and I’m confident that the Olympians of 2014 will receive a fantastic welcome when they arrive in Sochi in just a few years’ time".
Sochi was elected as the host city for the XXII Olympic Winter Games at the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala City on 4 July 2007. Sochi won the vote against the cities of Salzburg (Austria) and PyeongChang (Republic of Korea) in the second round of voting. The Russian city edged out PyeongChang 51 votes to 47, with Salzburg having been eliminated in round one. The Sochi 2014 Games will play host to the seven Olympic Winter sports (Skiing, Skating, Luge, Biathlon, Ice Hockey, Curling, and Bobsleigh) currently on the Olympic programme and will run from 7 to 23 February 2014.