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2014 Winter Olympics

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XXII Olympic Winter Games
2014 Winter Olympics logo.svg
Host city Sochi, Russia
Motto Hot. Cool. Yours.[1]
(Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)
Nations participating 88
Athletes participating 2,873
Events 98 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening ceremony 7 February
Closing ceremony 23 February
Officially opened by President Vladimir Putin
Athlete's Oath Ruslan Zakharov[2]
Judge's Oath Vyacheslav Vedenin, Jr [3]
Coach's Oath Anastasia Popkova [2]
Olympic Torch Vladislav Tretiak
Irina Rodnina
Stadium Fisht Olympic Stadium
Winter
Vancouver 2010 Pyeongchang 2018  >
Summer
London 2012 Rio de Janeiro 2016  >
Sochi from space

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially called the XXII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver) (Russian: XXII Олимпийские зимние игры, tr. XXII Olimpiyskiye zimniye igry) and commonly known as Sochi 2014, were a major international multi-sport event held from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics were organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was previously the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. These were the first Olympic Games under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency of Thomas Bach.

A total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines were held during the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—were 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 were 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. Norway led the final gold medal tally with 11 gold medals, followed by Canada with 10, and Russia and the United States with 9.

Severe cost overruns made the 2014 Winter Olympics the most expensive Olympics in history; with Russian politician Boris Nemtsov citing allegations of corruption among government officials,[4] and Allison Stewart of the Saïd Business School at Oxford citing tight relationships between the government and construction firms.[5] While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The lead-up to these Games were marked by several major controversies, including allegations that corruption among officials led to the aforementioned cost overruns, concerns for the safety of LGBT athletes and spectators due to recent government actions, protests by ethnic Circassian activists over use of a site where they believe a genocide took place in the 19th century), and threats by jihadist groups tied to the insurgency in the North Caucasus.

In May 2016, The New York Times published allegations by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of an anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, that FSB agents conspired with corrupt officials and Russian athletes to run a state-sponsored doping program, which assisted in a third of the medals won by Russia in Sochi. An independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed these allegations, prompting investigations into individual athletes by the IOC. In December 2017, the IOC announced that it had banned the Russian Olympic Committee from the 2018 Winter Olympics, with an option for clean athletes to compete independently; the IOC stated that the program was "one of the worst ever blows against the integrity and reputation of the Olympic Games"[6]

Bidding process

Fans celebrating Sochi's bid win

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.[7] This is the first time that the Russian Federation has hosted the Winter Olympics. The Soviet Union 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

Cost and financing

As of October 2013, the estimated combined cost of the 2014 Winter Olympics had topped US$51 billion.[8] This amount included the cost for Olympic games themselves and cost of Sochi infrastructural projects (roads, railroads, power plants). This total is over four times the initial budget of $12 billion (compared to the $8 billion spent for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver), and made the Sochi games the most expensive Olympics in history, exceeding the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing,[9] which hosted 3 times as many events.[10] Dmitry Kozak was the main overseer for the events in Sochi.[11][12][13]

In its final budget published in June 2014, Olimpstroy - the state corporation that oversaw the Sochi Olympics development - reported the total allocated funds for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics of 1,524 billion rubles (US$49.5 billion).[14] However, only about a fifth of that budget ($10.8 billion) was directly related to the Olympic games, while the rest went into urban and regional regeneration and the conversion of the Sochi region into an all-year round sea and alpine resort.[14] The breakdown table below is based on a report that has analyzed the distribution of Olimpstroy's $49.5 billion budget. Estimates also suggest that additional unrecoverable operational costs (including for security) could have added another $3 billion.[14]

The breakdown of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics costs[14]

Costs million RUB million US$
DIRECT OLYMPICS COSTS (a)+(b)+(c) 331,098 10,753
(a) Olympic venues 221,592 7,197
Coastal Cluster 96,366 3,130
Fisht Olympic Stadium 18,994 617
Bolshoy Ice Dome 10,102 328
Shayba Arena 3,484 113
Adler Arena Skating Centre 7,406 241
Iceberg Skating Palace 8,127 264
Ice Cube Curling Centre 735 24
Main Media Centre 17,426 566
The Olympic Park 9,871 321
Olympic Village (3000 places) 12,217 397
A complex for Olympic partners (1285 apartments) 8,003 260
Mountain Cluster 125,226 4,067
Rosa Khutor Extreme Park (freestyle skiing, snowboarding) 3,393 110
Rosa Khutor Alpine Skiing Centre 11,911 387
Sanki Sliding Centre (bobsleigh, luge, skeleton) 7,487 243
RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre (ski jumps, Nordic combined) 9,889 321
Laura Centre (biathlon and cross-country) and

Olympic Village (1100 places)

74,525 2,420
Main Alpine Olympic Village (2600 places) at Rosa Khutor 18,021 585
(b) Site preparation and supporting infrastructure 85,370 2,773
Key infrastructure for Olympic venues (roads, energy, water,

waste, security), planning and other works

81,413 2,644
SOCOG office building 3,957 129
(c) Operational costs (part of) 24,135 784
Opening/closing ceremonies (equipment and organisation) 3,444 112
Broadcasting and photo equipment 13,330 433
Vehicles for visitors and logistics 6,958 226
Live Sites city programme 403 13
INDIRECT COSTS (d)+(e) 1,193,348 38,758
(d) Skiing and Tourist Resorts 189,937 6,169
Gazprom Alpine Tourist Centre 60,723 1,972
Rosa Khutor 35,078 1,139
Gornaya Karusel/Gorky Gorod 72,728 2,362
Alpika Service 21,408 695
(e) Other projects 1,003,411 32,589
Hotels and health resorts 130,755 4,247
Formula One Racing 11,982 389
Olympic University 12,946 420
Combined rail- and motor- road linking the two clusters 317,224 10,303
Railways and rail terminals 38,015 1,235
Road infrastructure 189,532 6,156
Sochi Airport 22,895 744
Sochi Seaport 27,673 899
Housing projects 11,379 370
Power generation and grids 74,305 2,413
Gasification projects 46,048 1,496
Other engineering, water, waste, telecommunications

and other infrastructure

104,912 3,407
Nature and culture parks 11,346 369
Two hospitals 4,399 143
TOTAL (a)+(b)+(c)+(d)+(e) 1,524,445 49,511

Venues

Location of Sochi on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.

With an average February temperature of 8.3 °C (42.8 °F) and a humid subtropical climate, Sochi is the warmest city to host a Winter Olympic Games.[15] Sochi 2014 is the 12th straight Olympics to outlaw smoking; all Sochi venues, Olympic Park bars and restaurants and public areas were smoke-free during the Games.[16] It is also the first time that an Olympic Park has been built for hosting a winter games.[citation needed]

Sochi Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)

Panoramic view of the Sochi Olympic Park

The Sochi Olympic Park was built by the Black Sea coast in the Imeretinsky Valley, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from Russia's border with Abkhazia/Georgia.[17][18] The venues were clustered around a central water basin on which the Medals Plaza is built, allowing all indoor venues to be within walking distance. It also features "The Waters of the Olympic Park" (designed by California-based company WET), a choreographed fountain which served as the backdrop in the medals awards and the opening and closing ceremonies of the event.[19][20] The new venues include:[21]

A sketch of the layout of Sochi Olympic Park.

Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)

Chairlift in Krasnaya Polyana
2014 Winter Olympics Mountain Cluster Venues (interactive map)

Post-Olympic usage

Fisht Olympic Stadium under re-construction in 2015.

A street circuit known as the Sochi Autodrom was constructed in and around Olympic Park. Its primary use is to host the Formula One Russian Grand Prix, which held its inaugural edition in October 2014.[22][23][24]

In January 2015, work began on adapting Fisht Olympic Stadium into an open-air football stadium to host matches during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[25][26]

A new ice hockey team in the Kontinental Hockey League, HC Sochi Leopards, now plays in Bolshoy Arena.

Marketing

A Soyuz rocket with Olympic livery. Its flight to the International Space Station, TMA-11M, was part of Sochi's torch relay.

Logo and branding

The emblem of the 2014 Winter Olympics was unveiled in December 2009. While more elaborate designs with influence from Khokhloma were considered, organizers chose to use a more minimalistic and "futuristic" design instead, consisting only of typefaces with no drawn elements at all. The emblem was designed so that the "Sochi" and "2014" lettering would mirror each other vertically, "reflecting" the contrasts of Russia's landscape (such as Sochi itself, a meeting point between the Black Sea and the Western Caucasus).[27] 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 it 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.[27]

The Games' official slogan, Hot. Cool. Yours. (Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.), was unveiled on 25 September 2012, 500 days before the opening ceremony. Presenting the slogan, SOC president Dmitry Chernyshenko explained that it represented the "passion" and heated competition of the Games' athletes, the contrasting climate of Sochi, and a sense of inclusion and belonging.[28][29]

Mascots

Postage stamps depicting the three Olympic mascots

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 snow hare, and a snow leopard. The initial rounds consisted of online voting among submissions, while the final round involved text messaging.[30][31][32]

A satirical mascot known as Zoich (its name being an interpretation of the stylized "2014" lettering from the Games' emblem as a cyrillic word), 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 Zoich was deliberately planted by organizers to help virally promote the online mascot vote.[32][33]

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 Nintendo for the Wii U on 8 November 2013 in Europe, and 15 November 2013 in North America.[34] Others were Sochi 2014: Ski Slopestyle Challenge for Android operating system and Sochi 2014: Olympic Games Resort for online social network Facebook.[35]

Stamps and coins

In commemoration of the Games, Russian Post released a series of postage stamps depicting athletes, venues, and the mascots of the Games. The Bank of Russia also issued special coins and 100-ruble notes for the Games.[36]

Sponsors

Sponsors of the 2014 Winter Olympics
Worldwide Olympic Partners
National Partners
Official Partners
Official Suppliers
Suppliers

Construction

Vladimir Putin with George W. Bush and Laura Bush examining the models of the Olympic facilities for Sochi, April 2008
100 Russian ruble banknote issued in 2013 by the Central Bank of Russia

The Olympic infrastructure was constructed according to a Federal Target Program (FTP). In June 2009, the Games' organizers reported they were one year ahead in building the main Olympic facilities as compared to recent Olympic Games.[37] In November 2011, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Sochi and concluded that the city had made significant progress since he last visited eighteen months earlier.[38]

Telecommunications

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 provided the data network equipment, including switches, routers, security, telephones and contact-center systems. It provided engineers and technicians to design and test the systems, and worked with other technology partners to provide athletes, dignitaries and fans information about the Games.[39][40]

The 2014 Olympics is the first "fabric-enabled" Games using Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) technology.[41] The network is capable of handling up to 54,000 Gbit/s (54 Tbit/s) of traffic.[42]

Infrastructure built for the games included:

During the Games, the core networks of Rostelecom and Transtelekom were used.[43]

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.[44]

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.[45]

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 for Monitoring & Development of Infocommunication Technologies (Russian: Центр МИР ИТ).[46]

Russian mobile phone operator Megafon expanded and improved Sochi's telecom infrastructure with over 700 new 2G/3G/4G cell towers. Sochi was the first Games to offer 4G connectivity at a speed of 10 MB/sec.

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.[47][48]

Power infrastructure

Night view of Sochi during the Olympics, taken by Expedition 38 members from the International Space Station

A five-year strategy for increasing the power supply of 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.[49]

According to the strategy, the capacity of the regional energy network would increase by two and a half times by 2014, guaranteeing a stable power supply during and after the Games.

The power demand of Sochi in the end of May 2009 was 424 MW. The power demand of the Olympic infrastructure was expected to be about 340 MW.

  • Poselkovaya electrical substation became operational in early 2009.
  • Sochi thermal power station reconstructed (expected power output was 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 was 360 MW[50]
  • 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.[51]

Transportation

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 (228 miles) of roads were paved.[52]

The Sochi Light Metro is located between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana connecting the Olympic Park, Sochi International Airport, and the venues in Krasnaya Polyana.[53]

A "Lastochka" train, which serves the Tuapse–Sochi route

The existing 102 km (63-mile), 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 partly built in Russia.[54] Russian Railways established a high-speed Moscow-Adler link and a new railroad (more than 60 kilometres or 37 miles long) passing by the territory of Ukraine.[55]

At Sochi International Airport, a new terminal was built along a 3.5 km (2.2-mile) runway extension, overlapping the Mzymta River.[56] Backup airports were built in Gelendzhik, Mineralnye Vody and Krasnodar by 2009.[57]

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.[58] The cargo terminal of the seaport would be moved from the centre of Sochi.

Roadways were detoured, some going around the construction site and others being cut off.[59]