After a fierce competition with other world capitals, Sochi triumphed over cities like PyeongChang and Salzburg in the selection of host city for 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Big deal for Russia? YES. Merited honor? We will see. Here’s what you might want to know about the site of 2014 Olympics……
Sochi… let’s see… Established resort on the coast of Black Sea, near the Russo-Georgian border, benefiting from its wonderful geographical location – climate that allows people to bathe in the sea well into November, with the winter sports season opening in October. A multicultural city of 400,000 inhabitants representing more than 100 nationalities. Often referred to as the «Russian Riviera», in addition to its rich heritage as the nation’s major Black Sea port city, resort destination and a prominent cultural center. it is the largest recreational/resort region of Russia, stretching for more than 90 miles. (1)
Set between the golden shores of the Black Sea and the soaring snow-capped Caucasus mountains, Sochi offers visitors a unique taste of coastal and mountain living, all with a distinct Russian flavor. Sochi is a treasure among winter sport enthusiasts, who return every year to explore its pristine alpine valleys and skiing trails. Beautiful weather and an abundance of powdery snow are not the only reason to visit Sochi. The area’s endless beaches, national parks, imposing architecture, mineral baths, arts festivals and lively culture have made the city an elegant haven for artists, executives, families and athletes alike.
Here’s one of the places for the events, Krasnaya Polyana, in its pre-construction summer look. Forests will be incorporated into the athletic complex (4).
Sochi hosted the EU-Russia summit in 2006, so it is not entirely new to the world event scene. Air quality around Sochi is considered to be of very good quality mainly due to the fact that there are no large industrial facilities around it. The competitive events will be taking place in the mountains, away from the coastline, and the buses and shuttles will be taking athletes and spectators to the Caucusus peaks covered with snow every Olympic day.
The “Southern Capital” presents points of interest for the ecologically inclined of us (read: treehuggers) : city encompasses several specially protected natural zones: the Caucasian National Biosphere Reserve, Sochi National Park, the Russian Federation National Wildlife Sanctuary, and over 30 botanical gardens and parks and nature sanctuaries housing over 30,000 wild-life plant species. Sochi enjoys the most northern subtropical climate on Earth.
Here’s the entrance to the unique Dendrarium founded in 1892 (3) – read more about it in Russian on the blog of the photographer.
Much infrastructure renovating is being done right now in order to freshen up the resorts put in place after the Second World War, and preparations for Olympic games have brought more funding to the region, creating jobs and bringing newest concepts of the Tourism and Recreation industries. Two corporations, MegaFon and RosTeleCom (equivalent of At&T and Nextel/Sprint, let’s say) pledged to invest about $200 million into the region within months from now (2).
Check out the panoramic views of sites for Olympic events on the 1st link in the sources, and don’t forget to set Sochi t one of your favorite locations on GoogleEarth. It’s worth it.
Below is the winter view of the mountains around Krasnaya Polyana (5).