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Sochi 2014 Facilities "Ahead of Schedule" Hot

Airport_ConstructionToday is the Fourth of July, our nation’s birthday, and what better way to exude some national pride than to discuss the Olympics, namely the progression of construction in Sochi, the Black Sea city that will host the 2014 Winter Games.

The entire construction undertaking includes six new sports arenas, the International Broadcast Center, Main Press Center, Olympic Village, hotels and other ancillary facilities integral is supporting the Games. Those six sport facilities include:

  • Bolshoi Ice Palace (Ice Hockey)
  • Maly Ice Palace (Ice Hockey)
  • Sochi Olympic Oval (Speed Skating)
  • Sochi Olympic Skating Center (Figure Skating, Short Track Speed Skating)
  • Sochi Olympic Curling Center (Curling)

But, games organizers are taking the project one step further, capitalizing on the Olympics to also implement a new F-1 Racing track and a DisneyLand-like amusement park.

The construction effort is currently pacing at a 24/7 clip nd no snags or delays are being reported out of Russia. Two of the most critical facilities, the ice hockey and figure skating arenas – which hold particular importance to Russia, a powerhouse in both disciplines – are expected to be completed in 2012, two years prior to the torch lighting.

The following year, 2013, will usher in the completion of the Central Stadium, the future home of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The 2014 Olympics will provide a major boon for the Russian economy, but it’s also unique in the fact that it’s the first time that such a large-scale green construction effort is exacted in the country.

Timur Manzhitov, the Head of the Sochi department of the Ingeokom Construction told Russian media outlets, "Our facilities are unique in terms of architecture and in terns of the technologies we use. There is a unique system of energy supply and a recycling system right within the building. No damage to the environment." 

Vancouver 2010 served as the greenest Olympics to date, and typically, each subsequent organizing committee looks to eclipse the standards set by its predecessor.

In terms of skiing and snowboarding (and the sliding sports), those events require very little in terms of construction compared to other events. Those competitions will be held in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster, situated about 40 miles from the Sochi city center.

As long as there is enough snow and the sliding facilities are built at safe speeds, there is very little to worry about in terms of on-time completion. Remember, Whistler officials had a terrible time creating enough snow in 2010 and had to ship in tons of the white stuff from up North – something to watch out for in Sochi.

All in all, the Russians seem shovel ready for each project, however, glitches are inevitable and let’s just hope there are not major issues for Sochi 2014.

-Ryan O'Leary

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