With the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, slated for Feb. 7-23 and March 7-16, respectively, the Russian government is under intense pressure to strengthen it’s infrastructure and to ensure the safety of nearly 7,000 athletes, thousands of volunteers, members of the press, and an estimated 120,000 visitors to the Black Sea resort city. While such challenges are endemic to hosting such a high-profile event, Sochi presents some unique issues, given its status as the traditional summertime playground for Russian elite, its relatively limited hospitality and sport infrastructure and the fact that it is off the beaten path.
Little City, Big Stage
Greater Sochi (population 145,000) is located approximately 1,000 miles (1,609 km) south of Moscow, and stretches for 65 miles (105 km) between rugged mountains and the Black Sea coastline. However, despite this expansive territory, Sochi 2014 will be the most compact in Olympic history; it will be possible to get from one venue to any other in 30 minutes or less, and all Olympic and Paralympic competitions will take place in the same venues. Eleven athletic venues are being prepared for the Sochi Games, which will be divided into two clusters: Krasnaya Polyana (mountain cluster) and Imeretinskaya Lowland (coastal cluster), located within 48 km (30 miles) of each other along a new high-speed railway line. Travel time from the coastal cluster Olympic Village to a competition venue will be no more than five minutes, while all ice arenas will be within walking distance of one another. The Mountain Cluster will include biathlon and skiing complexes, a bobsled track, a snowboard park and freestyle center. Travel time from the Olympic Village to a competition venue in the mountain cluster is less than 15 minutes.
Authorities continue to implement heightened security measures in and around Sochi in preparation for the games. Associated restrictions will remain in effect through at least March 21, five days after the end of the Paralympic games. Expect the tightest security near the two main athletic campuses: Krasnaya Polyana, known as the “Mountain Cluster” and Imeretinskaya Lowland, commonly referred to as the “Coastal Cluster”, which are located within 48 km (30 miles) of each other.
For an in depth guide to the Sochi Games, click the link below for a downloadable PDF:
The guide includes:
Security Information: security measures in Sochi, prohibited items
Necessary Travel Documents
Transportation Information: To Sochi, airline restricted items, travel within Sochi
Health & Safety: dressing appropriately for the weather, evacuation procedures, local hospital information
Communications: calling within Russia, calling local emergency responders
Top 7 Tips for Spectators
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