2014 Winter Olympics

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XXII Olympic Winter Games
Host city Sochi, Russia
Motto "Hot. Cool. Yours."[1]
(Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)
Nations participating 88
Athletes participating 2,800+ (estimated)
Events 98 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening ceremony 7 February
Closing ceremony 23 February
Officially opened by Vladimir Putin
Athlete's Oath Ruslan Zakharov
Judge's Oath Vyacheslav Vedenin
Coach's Oath Anastasia Popkova
Olympic Torch Vladislav Tretiak
Irina Rodnina
Stadium Fisht Olympic Stadium
Location of Sochi, coast of the Black Sea, Russia
100 Russian ruble banknote issued in 2013 by the Central Bank of Russia.

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, or the 22nd Winter Olympics, is a major international multi-sport event being held in Sochi, Russia.

Scheduled for 7-23 February 2014, opening rounds in figure skating, skiing, and snowboard competitions were held on the eve of the Opening Ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics are being organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It is the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the USSR in 1991. The USSR was the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines are being held in the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—will be held during the Games, including biathlon mixed relay, women's ski jumping, mixed-team figure skating, mixed-team luge, half-pipe skiing, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom. The events will be held around two clusters of new venues; an Olympic Park constructed in Sochi's Imeretinsky Valley on the coast of the Black Sea, with Fisht Olympic Stadium and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance, and snow events in the resort settlement of Krasnaya Polyana.

In preparation, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power, and transportation infrastructures of the region. While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the most expensive Olympics in history.

The lead-up to this Olympics was marked by major controversies, including allegations of corruption leading to the aforementioned cost overruns, concerns for the safety and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes and supporters during the Games due to the country's recent ban on the promotion of LGBT relationships to minors, which led to ongoing protests, and various security concerns over threats by jihadist groups tied to the insurgency in the North Caucasus.

Bidding process

Sochi residents celebrate IOC's decision to hold 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, 4 July 2007.

Sochi was elected on 4 July 2007 during the 119th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session held in Guatemala City, Guatemala, defeating bids from Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.[2] This will be the first time that the Russian Federation will host the Winter Olympics. The U.S.S.R. was the host of the 1980 Summer Olympics held in and around Moscow.

2014 Host City Election – ballot results
City Country (NOC) Round 1 Round 2
Sochi  Russia 34 51
Pyeongchang  South Korea 36 47
Salzburg  Austria 25


As of October 2013, the estimated cost of the 2014 Winter Olympics had topped US$51 billion.[3] This total, if borne out, would be over four times the initial budget of $12 billion (compared to the $8 billion spent for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver), and would make the Sochi games the most expensive Olympics in history, exceeding the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[4]

Funds approved
from 2006 until 2014
Year Billions of rubles[5]
2006 5
2007 16
2008 32
2009 27
2010 22
2011 27
2012 26
2013 22
2014 8

According to Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko, partnership and commercial programs allowed the use of funds generated by Sochi 2014 for the 2009–10 development period, postponing the need for the state funds guaranteed by the Russian Government. He confirmed that the Organizing Committee had raised more than $500 million through marketing in the first five months of 2009.[6] The Russian Government provided nearly 327 billion roubles (about US$10 billion) for the total development, expansion and hosting of the Games.[7] 192 billion roubles coming from the federal budget and 7 billion roubles from the Krasnodar Krai budget and from the Sochi budget. The organizers expect to have a surplus of US$300 million when the Games conclude.[8]

Financing from non-budget sources (including private investor funds) is distributed as follows:[9]

  • Tourist infrastructure: $2.6 billion
  • Olympic venues: $500 million
  • Transport infrastructure: $270 million
  • Power supply infrastructure: $100 million


With an average February temperature of 8.3 °C (42.8 °F) and a humid subtropical climate, Sochi will be the warmest city to have hosted a Winter Olympic Games.[10] Sochi 2014 will be the 12th straight Olympics to outlaw smoking; all Sochi venues, Olympic Park bars and restaurants and public areas will be smoke-free during the Games.[11]

Sochi Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)

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

The Sochi Olympic Park was built by the Black Sea coast in the Imeretin Valley, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from Russia's border with Georgia.[12][13] The venues will be clustered around a central water basin on which the Medals Plaza will be built, allowing all indoor venues to be within walking distance. The new venues include:[14]

Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)

Ski resort of Roza Khutor at Krasnaya Polyana.

Tentative post-Olympic usage

After the Olympics, a Formula One street circuit is planned for the site. The deal to hold the Russian Grand Prix was signed on 14 October 2010, and runs from 2014 to 2020.[16] The first race will take place after the Closing Ceremony of the Games, but the IOC has announced that the race will be delayed until 2015 if construction of the circuit interferes with preparations for the 2014 Olympics.[17]


The Soyuz rocket with the logo of the Sochi Olympics.
Postage stamps commemorating the three mascots.


The emblem of the 2014 Winter Olympics, unveiled in December 2009, carries a minimalistic style, and unlike previous Olympic emblems, consists of typefaces with no drawn elements at all. While more elaborate designs with influence from Khokhloma were considered, organizers eventually decided to use a simpler and more "futuristic" design instead. The "Sochi" and "2014" lettering is designed to mirror each other vertically (particularly on the "hi" and "14" characters), "reflecting" the contrasts of Russia's landscape (such as Sochi itself, a meeting point between the Black Sea and the Western Caucasus).[18]

Critics, including Russian bloggers, panned the logo for being too simplistic and lacking any real symbolism; Guo Chunning, designer of the 2008 Summer Olympics emblem Dancing Beijing, criticized the logo for its lack of detail, and believed it should have contained more elements that represented winter and Russia's national identity, aside from its blue color scheme and its use of .ru, the top-level domain of Russia.[18]


For the first time in Olympic history, a public vote was held to decide the mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympics; the 10 finalists, along with the results, were unveiled during live specials on Channel One. On 26 February 2011, the official mascots were unveiled, consisting of a polar bear, a European hare, and an Amur leopard. The initial rounds consisted of online voting among submissions, while the final round involved text messaging.[19][20][21]

A satirical mascot known as Zoich (based on the "2014" lettering from the Sochi emblem, converted to cyrillic script), a fuzzy blue frog with hypnotic multi-coloured rings (sharing the colors of the Olympic rings) on his eyeballs and the Imperial Crown ("to remind about statehood and spirituality"), proved popular in initial rounds of online voting, and became a local internet meme among Russians (with some comparing it to Futurama's "Hypnotoad"). Despite its popularity, Zoich did not qualify for the final round of voting, with its creator, political cartoonist Egor Zhgun, claiming that organizers were refusing to respect public opinion. However, it was later revealed that the mascot was deliberately planted into the vote by organizers to help promote the online vote.[21][22]

Video game

The official Olympic video game is the fourth game in the Mario & Sonic series, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, it was released by Sega for the Wii U on 8 November 2013 in Europe, and 15 November 2013 in North America.[23]


Vladimir Putin with George W. Bush and Laura Bush examining the models of the Olympic facilities for Sochi, April 2008.

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 recent Olympic Games.[24] In November 2011 IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Sochi and concluded that the city has made significant progress since he last visited eighteen months earlier.[25]


According to the FTP, US$580 million would be spent on construction and modernization of telecommunications in the region. Avaya was named by the Sochi Organizing Committee as the official supplier of telecommunications equipment. Avaya provides the data network equipment, including switches, routers, security, telephones and contact center systems. It provides engineers and technicians to design and test the systems, and works with other technology partners to provide athletes, dignitaries and fans information about the Games.[26][27]

The 2014 Olympics is the first "fabric enabled" Games using Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) technology.[28] The network is capable of handling up to 54,000 Gbit/s (54 Tbit/s) of traffic.[29]

Infrastructure built:

During the Games, the core networks of Rostelecom and Transtelekom will be used.[30]

In January 2012, the newest equipment for the television coverage of the Games arrived in the port of Adler. Prepared specifically for the Games, a team of regional specialists and the latest technology provide a qualitatively new level of television production in the region.[31]

The fiber-optic channel links Sochi between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana. The 46-kilometre-long (29 mi) channel enables videoconferencing and news reporting from the Olympics.[32]

In November 2013, it was reported that the fiber-optic cable that was built by the Federal Communications Agency, Rossvyaz, had no operator. With Rostelecom and Megafon both refusing to operate it, the line was transferred to the ownership of the state enterprise Center of the IT world (Russian: Центр МИР ИТ).[33]

Russian mobile phone operator Megafon expanded and improved Sochi's telecom infrastructure with over 700 new 2G/3G/4G cell towers. Sochi is the first Games to offer 4G connectivity at a speed of 10 MB/sec. It has started to provide content delivery services to Russian state television and radio. The content delivery network of Megafon unites servers located in the major cities of Russia, into a single infrastructure that can speed up information from the Internet for users. CDN service allows major media companies to provide users quick access to content without interruption and delays when transferring large amounts of data. The Russian segment of the bandwidth of the CDN- network of MegaFon is about 250 Gbit/s.[34]

MTS provide full coverage of the Sochi and the Krasnodar Territory, with network capacity doubled. In preparation for the Olympics, Tele2 Russia increased the number of base stations in Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana by 15% and the network capacity up to 70%, and provides 100% coverage of the Olympic facilities in the mountain cluster.[35]

Rostelecom also built LTE 4th generation network. It covers an area of 40 km2 in the mountains and 50 km2 in the coastal clusters. The 4th generation is available in all major Olympic venues in the Imereti lowland and mountain cluster, as well as Sochi airport and in the Olympic Park.[36] The Russian Ministry of Communications, together with mobile operators organized internetwork roaming at Olympic venues. This measure allows subscribers access to the largest Russian operators at their standard fare to use the network of MegaFon, which has the exclusive right to work at Olympic venues.

Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), the state operator of Russia's extensive broadcasting infrastructure, commissioned three mobile digital television broadcasting complexes. Mobile systems can broadcast a signal to a radius of about 30 kilometers, depending on terrain. They are used as a backup transmitter multiplexes two and two FM-radio stations in the event of a fault or power failure in fixed installations, as well as for the organization of video play-out.[37]

On 11 December 2013 Rostelecom said it had completed its infrastructure for the games. The transport component of the infrastructure includes about 500 kilometres of fiber-optic communication lines linking 35 facilities. The main network's capacity has been increased to 140 Gbit/sec. The Olympic Information Technology Center was the core of the project, the largest IT facility for Sochi with an area of more than 2,000 square meters. The Center is aimed to process information flows, manage the Games' united network and integrate special solutions for each sport.[38]

In January 2014, Rostelecom reported that it had connected the Olympic media center in Sochi to the Internet and organized channels of communication with the main media center of the Olympic Games in the coastal cluster and press center in Moscow. The media center was built at total cost of 17 million rubles.[39][40]

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.[41]

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 was completed in 2012. Expected power output is 360 MW[42]
  • Bytkha substation, under construction with two transformers 25 MW each, includes 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.[43]

President Putin had instructed Alexander Novak, the country's Energy Minister to exert strict control over the energy system of Sochi to prevent possible power failures during the games. Sochi's electricity distribution network included 900 kilometres (560 mi) of cables and overhead transmission lines, as well as 500 substations.[44]


Electric multiple-units "Lastochka" serves the Tuapse–Sochi route.

The transport infrastructure prepared to support the Olympics includes many roads, tunnels, bridges, interchanges, railroads and stations in and around Sochi. Among others, 8 flyovers, 102 bridges, tens of tunnels and a bypass route for heavy trucks — 367 km of roads were paved.[45]

The Sochi Light Metro is located between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana connecting the Olympic Park, the airport, and the venues in Krasnaya Polyana.[46]

The existing 102 km (63 mi) Tuapse to Adler railroad was renovated to provide double track throughout, increasing capacity and enabling a reliable regional service to be provided and extending 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.[47]

Russian Railways established a high-speed Moscow-Adler link and a new railroad (more than 60 kilometres (37 mi) long) passing by the territory of Ukraine.[48]

At the Sochi airport, a new terminal had been built along a 3.5 km (2.2 mi) runway extension, possibly overlapping Mzymta River.[49] Backup airports will be built in Gelendzhik, Mineralnye Vody and Krasnodar by 2009.[50] A new railway line was built to connect central Sochi and the local airport. The line is served by Lastochka trains. This new type of electric locomotive, based on the Siemens Desiro design, has been developed for commuting transportation in the Russian environment. All Russian Railways facilities in Sochi have been built or retrofitted to accommodate disabled passengers.

Sochi sea port.

At the Port of Sochi, a new offshore terminal 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the shore allows docking for cruise ships with capacities of 3,000 passengers.[51] The cargo terminal of the sea port is to be moved from the centre of Sochi.

Road ways are detoured, some going around the construction site and others being cut off.[52]

In May 2009, Russian Railways started the construction of tunnel complex No. 1 (the final total is six) on the combined road (automobile and railway) from Adler to Alpica Service Mountain Resort in the Krasnaya Polyana region. The tunnel complex No. 1 is located near Akhshtyr in Adlersky City District, and includes:[53]

  • Escape tunnel, 2.25 kilometres (1.40 mi), completed in 2010
  • Road tunnel, 2,153 metres (7,064 ft), completed in 2013
  • One-track railway tunnel, 2,473 metres (8,114 ft), completed in 2013

Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin said the road construction would cost more than 200 billion rubles.[54]

In addition, Sochi's railway stations were renovated. These are Dagomys, Sochi, Matsesta, Khosta, Lazarevskaya, and Loo railway stations. In Adler, a new railway station was built while the original building was preserved, and in the Olympic park cluster, a new station was built from scratch, the Olympic Park railway station. Another new railway station was built in Estosadok, close to Krasnaya Polyana.

New bus routes for the guests of the Olympics have begun operating in the city, stretching some 150 km along the Black Sea coast. The buses run with 5-minute intervals during the Games. Some 963 operate during the Olympics, while half of all the transport facilities will be used during the Paralympics. The guests will be able to board buses at transportation hubs, located near the railway station in the centre of Sochi and also in Matsesta, Khosta, and Adler neighborhoods, as well as in Krasnaya Polyana, Estosadok, Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, and near the Sliding Center Sanki.[55]

Other infrastructure

Sochi's Olympic Village.

Funds will be spent on construction of 15 modern sport venues and some hotels for 10,300 guests.[56] The first of the Olympic hotels, Zvezdny (Stellar), will be rebuilt anew.[57]

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.[58][59]

Significant funds are being spent on construction of an advanced sewage treatment system in Sochi, designed by Olimpstroy. The system meets BREF standards and employs top available technologies for environment protection, including tertiary treatment with microfiltration.[60]

Six post offices will be opened at competition venues, two of them in the main media center in the Olympic Park and in the mountain village of Estosadok. In addition to standard services clients will have access to unique services including two new products: "Fotomarka" and "Retropismo". Fotomarka gives the opportunity to get a stylized post block with eight souvenir stamps with one's own photos, using the services of a photographer in the office. Retropismo service gives the customer to write their own stylus or pen on antique paper with further letters, winding string and wax seal affixing. All new postal items and Post Offices in Sochi will be working during the Olympics until late at night all week, and workers were trained to speak English.[61]

The Games

Torch relay

The torch relay lasted 123 days and measured 40,000 kilometers in length. A total of 14,000 torch carriers took part in the relay. The Olympic flame was taken to the Caucasus’ tallest peak — Mount Elbrus, lowered to the bottom of Lake Baikal and visited the North Pole and the International Space Station.[45]

On 29 September 2013, the Olympic torch was lit in Ancient Olympia, beginning a seven-day journey across Greece and on to Russia, then the torch relay will start at Moscow on 7 October 2013 before passing 83 Russian cities and arriving at Sochi on the day of the opening ceremony, 7 February 2014.[62] It is the longest torch relay in Olympic history, a 40,000-mile route that will pass through all regions of the country, from Kaliningrad in the west to Chukotka in the east.

The Olympic torch reached the North Pole for first time via an nuclear-powered icebreaker (50 Let Pobedy). The torch was also passed for the first time in space; the flame was carried on flight Soyuz TMA-11M to the International Space Station (ISS), and the spacecraft itself was adorned with Olympic-themed livery, including the Games' emblem. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky passed the torch at the outlet of the ISS. The torch returned to Earth five days later on board Soyuz TMA-09M.[63][64] The torch also reached the Europe's highest mountain Mount Elbrus, and even the depths of Siberia's Lake Baikal.[65]

Participating National Olympic Committees

A record 88 nations have qualified to compete,[66] which beats the previous record of 82 set at the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The number of athletes qualified or in qualifying position are listed below per country. Seven nations, Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, and Zimbabwe, are all making their Winter Olympics debut.[67] Kristina Krone qualified to compete in her second consecutive games for her nation of Puerto Rico but the island's Olympic Committee chose not to send her to compete again as they did in 2010.[68] Similarly, South Africa decided not to send alpine skier Sive Speelman to Sochi.[69] Algeria also did not enter its only qualified athlete, Mehdi-Selim Khelifi.[70]

The participating nations at the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi.
Participating National Olympic Committees (number of qualifying athletes)

Countries that participated in 2010, but not 2014. Countries that are participating in 2014, but did not in 2010.
North Korea
South Africa
British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands

National houses

During the Games some countries will have a national house, a meeting places for supporters, athletes and other followers.[72] Houses can be either free for visitors to access or they can have limited access by invitation only.[73]

Nation Location Name Website
Austria Mountain Cluster Austria Tirol House Official website
Canada[74] Coastal Cluster (Next to Fisht Olympic Stadium Canada House
France[75] Gornaya Karusel (Mountain Cluster) Club France Official website
Germany[76] Estosadok, Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster) German House Official website
Japan[73] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) Japan House
Netherlands[77] Azimut Hotel Resort (near Coastal Cluster) Holland Heineken House Official website
Russia[73] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) NOC Hospitality Houses of Russia
Slovakia[78]Sochi railway station Slovak Point
South Korea[73] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) Pyeongchang 2018 Korea House (no official)
Switzerland[73] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) House of Switzerland Official website
United States[79] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) USA House


98 events over 15 disciplines in 7 sports were included in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The three skating sports disciplines are figure skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. There are six skiing sport disciplines—alpine, cross-country skiing, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding. The two bobsleigh sports disciplines are bobsleigh and skeleton. The other four sports are biathlon, curling, ice hockey, and luge. A total of twelve new events will be contested to make it the largest Winter Olympics to date.[80][81] Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each sports discipline.

Postage Stamps of Pridnestrovie, Sochi Olympic Games (2014).

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.[82] The events include:

On 4 July 2011 the IOC announced that three events would be added to the program.[83] These events were officially declared by Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on 5 July 2011.[81]

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 was considered.[84] There were reports of Bandy possibly being added to the sports program,[85][86][87] but the IOC rejected this request. Subsequently, the international governing body, Federation of International Bandy, decided to that Irkutsk and Shelekhov in Russia, would host the 2014 Bandy World Championships just before the Olympics.

On 28 November 2006, the Executive Board of the IOC decided not to include the following sports in the review process of the program.[88]


Sochi's medal design was unveiled in May 2013. The design is intended to resemble Sochi's landscape, with a semi-translucent section containing a "patchwork quilt" of diamonds representing mountains; the diamonds themselves contain designs that reflect Russia's regions.[91] Those who win gold medals on 15 February will receive special medals with fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteor, marking the one-year anniversary of the event where pieces of the cosmic body fell into the Chebarkul Lake in the Ural Mountains in central Russia.[92]


In the following calendar each blue box represents one or more event competition(s), such as a qualification round, on that day. The yellow boxes represent medal-awarding finals for a sport with in each box the number of finals that were contested on that day.[93]

All dates are MSK (UTC+4)
OCOpening ceremony Event competitions 1Event finals EGExhibition gala CCClosing ceremony
February 6th
Ceremonies OC CC
Alpine skiing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
Biathlon 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11
Bobsleigh 1 1 1 3
Cross-country skiing 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 12
Curling 1 1 2
Figure skating 1 1 1 1 1 EG 5
Freestyle skiing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 10
Ice hockey 1 1 2
Luge 1 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 1 4
Snowboarding 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 10
Speed skating 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 12
Total events 5 8 5 8 6 6 6 7 5 6 5 8 6 7 7 3 98
Cumulative total 5 13 18 26 32 38 44 51 56 62 67 75 81 88 95 98
February 6th


More than 40,000 law enforcement officials will be deployed in securing the event and Police at the games will be able to converse with non-Russian speaking spectators and other guests in three languages: English, French and German.[94] Russian Ground Forces commander Colonel-General Vladimir Chirkin said Russian Armed Forces will help ensure security during the preparations for and throughout the games.[95]

A Presidential Decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, stipulates that all gatherings, protests, demonstrations, marches and pickets in Sochi and the surrounding area that are not part of the Olympics or Paralympics must obtain approval from the FSB (intelligence agency), police and local government. The restrictions will run from 7 January, a month before the Olympic opening ceremony, until 21 March, five days after the end of the Paralympics. Some estimated the decree could be used to bar protests over Russia's controversial homosexual propaganda laws, which has already provoked widespread international criticism. There could also be campaigns by representatives of the Muslim Circassian people, who lived in the area where Sochi now stands until their homeland was occupied by Russia in the 19th century and the majority were either expelled or killed.[96]

Restrictions on movement in and around Sochi will be introduced from 7 January through 21 March, with "controlled" and "forbidden" zones, dubbed the "ring of steel" by the press. The controlled zones cover all Olympic venues and infrastructure, including the coastal Olympic Park and the mountain cluster of skiing facilities, as well as all transport hubs. The forbidden zones will include the border area separating Russia from neighboring Abkhazia, just a few kilometers east of Sochi, as well as the Sochi National Park, an environmentally protected area. The government has also tightened the mandatory registration system for Russian citizens visiting Sochi.[96][97]

Internal Troops of the Ministry of Interior will have 10,000-strong force to provide security at Sochi Olympics.[98] In mid January, some 1,500 Siberian Regional Command troops were sent to a military town near Krasnaya Polyana. Their duties primarily involve prevention of unauthorized access to sports facilities, residential areas, thoroughfares and bridges. Some of the forces will keep public order along with the police.[99]

From 7 January, the country's Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) forces that are engaged in the security measures at the Olympics in Sochi have been put on combat duty. In addition, emergency situations monitoring systems, including those from the outer space as well as medical laboratory control, were deployed according to Minister of Emergency Situations, Vladimir Puchkov.[100] According to him, a firefighting and rescue unit, a modern horse and dog specialist center and other facilities have been commissioned ahead of the games.[101]

In addition, over 400 Cossacks arrived in Sochi in early January to help the security forces. The Cossacks will accompany police patrols in full traditional uniform, which includes elaborate tunics, fur hats and swords.[102] They were authorized by the law to check IDs and take suspects to police stations.[103]

Airspace above the Olympic region will be guarded by an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron as well as S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense rockets. From the Black sea, Sochi will be protected by four counter-terror gunboats.[104]

The 58th Army unit of the Russian Armed Forces, which is composed of about 70,000 soldiers, will patrol Russia's nearby southern border with Georgia.[105]

Several groups have threatened to attack the Sochi Olympics, the latest being a group that calls itself Vilayat Dagestan, which also claimed responsibility for the Volgograd bombings. They said the attacks were ordered by rebel leader Doku Umarov, who has also threatened to strike Sochi during the Olympics. In response to the possible threats, the U.S. ski and snowboard team has hired private security firm Global Rescue to protect its athletes in case of emergency.[105] The British, German, Italian, Hungarian, Austrian, Slovenian and Slovakian Olympic associations received threats that athletes would be "blown up" or kidnapped by terrorists at the Winter Games.[106] According to the IOC, the letters did not represent any real threat.[107]

To enter railway stations and Olympic venues visitors must pass through check points equipped with x-ray machines, metal detectors and explosive material scanners manned by security forces.[108]

U.S. President Barack Obama offered Russian President Putin security assistance. The Pentagon confirmed two ships and other assets at the ready in the Black Sea.[109] On 31 January 2014, the USS Mount Whitney left its home port of Gaeta, Italy; it is the first of two US Navy ships that will be operating in the Black Sea during the games.



Panasonic supplying all the event’s video needs including broadcast equipment. The International Olympic Committee and Olympic Broadcasting Services will capture the upcoming 22nd Winter Games opening ceremony in 4K-Ultra HD.[110] Both NTV Plus and Comcast plan to film portions of the Games in 4K resolution (UHDTV). Comcast plans to offer its content through smart TV apps, while NTV+ is planning to hold public and cinema viewings of the content.[111][112][113] Russian broadcaster Channel One is among several rights holders using technology from Elemental to stream coverage of the Games. In a system delivered by Russian IT supplier Open Technologies, Elemental will process nine channels of Channel One Olympics programming over IP to multiple devices. During the Games, solutions from Elemental will stream Channel One live and time-shifted TV content in 12 Adobe HDS H.264 profiles to set-top boxes, computers, Android and iOS devices, and smart TVs.[114]

Broadcasting rights

In most regions, broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics were packaged together with broadcast rights for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but some broadcasters obtained rights to further games as well. Domestic broadcast rights were sold by Sportfive to a consortium of three Russian broadcasters; Channel One, VGTRK, and NTV Plus.[115]

In the United States, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be the first in a US$4.38 billion contract with NBC, extending its broadcast rights to the Olympic Games through 2020.[116]

In Canada, after losing the 2010 and 2012 Games to CTV, the 2014 Winter Olympics will mark the return of the Olympics to CBC Television and French sister network Ici Radio-Canada Télé for the first time since 2008.[117]

In Australia, after all three major commercial networks pulled out of bidding on rights to both the 2014 and 2016 Games due to cost concerns, the IOC awarded broadcast rights to just the 2014 Winter Olympics to Network Ten for AUD$20 million.[118][119][120]


A Volkswagen Jetta in 2014 Winter Olympics livery from sponsor Volkswagen Group Rus.

The following are the "Worldwide Olympic Partners":[121]

The following are the "National Partners Sochi 2014":

Concerns and controversies


The lead-up to the Games were affected by numerous controversies and concerns; primarily centring around disputes with Circassian nationalists, who demanded that the events be cancelled or moved unless Russia apologises for the 19th-century deaths, which Circassians regard to be a genocide;[122] environmental and economic issues; and the safety and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes, supporters and journalists.[123][124]

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden of the United States are not planning to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics,[125] joining Canadian PM Stephen Harper, French President François Hollande and some other western leaders.[126] Although they denied that their decision not to travel to Sochi was a political statement aimed against Russian policies, there is speculation it might be an symbolic boycott over Russia's treatment of LGBT people.[127] In a 2013 news story, the Financial Times reported, "... Sochi boycott, when no one boycotted the Beijing Olympics, could reinforce the Kremlin narrative that the West seeks constantly to undermine Russia. Far from driving a wedge between Mr Putin and Russians, it might consolidate his support among the majority."[128] Putin later said homosexuals should feel welcome at the games.[129] Since June 2013, protests have occurred involving the country's ban on the promotion of LGBT relationships to minors, with athletes emphasizing Principle Six of the Olympic Charter, which states that "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."[130][131]

While most Olympic Games have high cost overruns, for these Games they are much higher than usual, with the costs being more than all the previous 21 Winter Olympics combined.[132] Allison Stewart of the Saïd Business School at Oxford, notes that relations between the government and construction companies appear closer in Sochi than in other games.[133] Oligarch Arkady Rotenberg has won contracts worth $7.4 billion.[133]

According to an article in The Daily Telegraph, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence, allegedly confronted the Kremlin with a mix of inducements and threats in a bid to break the deadlock over Syria, including the security of the Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. He allegedly said “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us".[134] Three suicide bombings in Volgograd, 700 kilometres from Sochi, one in October 2013 and the two others in December 2013, have raised additional international concerns about security during the Olympics. The IOC expressed sympathy for the victims and underlined that they trusted that Russia's security arrangements for the Olympics would be adequate.[135] Vilayat Dagestan then again threatened the games saying that Putin should expect a "present."[136]

Notes and references

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  4. Owen Gibson (9 October 2013). "Sochi 2014: the costliest Olympics yet but where has all the money gone?". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  5. Interfax
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  7. "2014 Winter Olympics Create New Opportunities for U.S. Ag Exporters", from Alla Putiy & Erik W. Hansen
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  9. Experts analyzed which industries are most interested in Sochi Olympics Rosbalt.biz, 6 July 2007 (Russian)
  10. Vancouver Olympics: Embarrassed Russia looks to 2014 Sochi Olympics The Christian Science Monitor, 1 March 2010
  11. Rio Golf Course; Women's World Cup; IOC Nominee for Japan? – No Smoking in Sochi Around the Rings, 14 July 2011
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  14. Посмотрели свысока Yugopolis, 16 July 2013
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  42. Gazprom launches construction of Adler CHPS Gazprom, 28 September 2009
  43. The power capacities of the Sochi region will increase before the Olympics by a factor of four RBC, 6 July 2007 (Russian)
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  47. Siemens signs Russian Olympic train order Railway Gazette International, 1 January 2010
  48. Expensive road to the Olympics Gudok, 22 August 2007 (Russian)
  49. Runway in Sochi airport will cross the river YuGA.ru, 8 July 2007 (Russian)
  50. Russia to build 3 reserve airports in country's south by 2009 RIA Novosti, 7 July 2007
  51. Offshore terminal will be built at the Sochi sea port KM.ru, 7 July 2007 (Russian)
  52. Sochi authorities close the entrance to the city DP.RU, 8 October 2007 (Russian)
  53. Russian Railways started mountain tunnel complex construction from Sochi to Krasnaya Polyana Interfax, 27 May 2009 (Russian)
  54. "Russian Railways President Yakunin sums up investment programme for first 7 months of 2011". Russian Railways. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  55. "New 5-minute-interval buses are launched in Sochi for Olympics". ITAR-TASS. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  56. Sochi is not a place for recreation Gazeta.ru, 5 July 2007 (Russian)
  57. Construction of the first olympic hotel starts in Sochi RIA Novosti, 7 August 2007 (Russian)
  58. Russia will get new lands before the Olympics DP.RU, 18 September 2007 (Russian)
  59. Arabians will own 70% of the island in Sochi DP.RU, 24 September 2007 (Russian)
  60. Minister of Natural Resources held a meeting on design and construction of sewage treatment facilities in preparation for 2014 Olympics in Sochi Press Service of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russian Federation, 13 July 2009 (Russian)
  61. "Гости Олимпиады смогут отправить написанное пером письмо, оплатив почтовые услуги маркой с собственной фотографией". TASS Telecom. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  62. "Russia anti-gay law casts a shadow over Sochi's 2014 Olympics". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  63. "Soyuz TMA-09M safely returns crew back to Earth". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  64. 9. listopadu 2013  17:51. "Kosmonauti si poprvé ve volném vesmíru předali olympijskou pochodeň". Technet.idnes.cz. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  65. Loumena, Dan (23 November 2013). "Sochi Olympic torch takes plunge into world's deepest lake". Latimes.com. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  66. "Record 88 nations to participate in Winter Games". Global News (Sochi, Russia). Associated Press. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  67. MacKenzie, Eric (16 January 2014). "Sochi Spotlight: Zimbabwe's first Winter Olympian". Pique Newsmagazine (Whistler, British Columbia, Canada). Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  68. Pagan Rivera, Esteban (12 January 2014). "Kristina Krone: Quería ir a Sochi, pero nunca recibió contestación del Comité Olímpico". Primerahora (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  69. "Sascoc crush Speelman's Olympic dream". http://www.iol.co.za/. IOL Sport. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  70. Dubault, Fabrice (24 January 2014). "L'histoire invraisemblable de Mehdi Khelifi privé de J.O par l'Algérie". France 3. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  71. "Sochi Games: Four Indian skiers to go as independent athletes". Zee news. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
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  74. "Opening Canada House". CBC. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.  (Dutch)
  75. "Dossier de presse Sotchi 201". http://espritbleu.franceolympique.com. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014.  (French)
  76. "Deutsches Haus Sotschi 2014 in Russlands Bergen". DOSB. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  77. "Holland Heineken House dichter bij olympiërs dan ooit". nusport.nl. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.  (Dutch)
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  86. It's Not Hockey, It's Bandy New York Times, 29 January 2010
  87. No time to relax! The show must go on...again! Eastbourne Herald, 9 March 2010
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  89. "No Olympics for Ski Mountaineering". The Mountain World. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  90. "No inclusion of ski orienteering in the IOC review process for 2014". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
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  94. "Russian Police to Speak 3 Languages at Sochi Olympics - Ministry". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  95. "Russian Military to Ensure Security at 2014 Olympics". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
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  99. "Siberia joins national effort to make the Sochi Olympics safe and successful". Siberia Times. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  100. "Space monitoring systems of emergency situations deployed in Sochi". ITAR TASS. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  101. "Russian emergencies minister praises Sochi security system". ITAR TASS. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  102. "Sochi Drafts In Cossacks for Olympic Security". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  103. "Some 300 Cossacks to Help Police Sochi Olympics". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
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  106. "Winter Olympics 2014: email threat to 'blow up' athletes at Sochi Games dismissed by IOC". Telegraph. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  107. "European Olympic Committees Report Sochi Terror Threats". En.ria.ru. 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  108. "Sochi Olympic organisers face accommodation crisis". Telegraph. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  109. "Obama offers US security assistance to Putin as Olympic terror fears mount". Foxnews.com. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
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  111. "Comcast to Produce Olympics 2014 in Ultra HD". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
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  113. "Putin cancels New Year holidays for officials responsible for Winter Games". ITAR-TASS. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  114. Sochi Games to Set Record for Live and VOD Streaming
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  120. MacKay, Duncan (12 May 2013). "Ten Network signs $20 million deal to broadcast Sochi 2014 in Australia, claim reports". Inside the Games. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
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  122. Russian Olympics clouded by 19th century deaths. Reuters. 21 March 2010
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  130. "Nesting-doll set to raise awareness of Russian LGBT controversy". Digitaljournal.com. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
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External links

Preceded by
Winter Olympics

XXII Olympic Winter Games (2014)
Succeeded by
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