2014 Winter Olympics

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XXII Olympic Winter Games
2014 Winter Olympics logo.svg
Host citySochi, Russia
MottoHot. Cool. Yours.[1]
(Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)
Nations participating88
Athletes participating2,800+ (estimated)
Events98 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening ceremony7 February
Closing ceremony23 February
Officially opened byVladimir Putin
Athlete's OathRuslan Zakharov[2]
Judge's OathVyacheslav Vedenin
Coach's OathAnastasia Popkova [2]
Olympic TorchVladislav Tretiak
Irina Rodnina
StadiumFisht Olympic Stadium
 
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XXII Olympic Winter Games
2014 Winter Olympics logo.svg
Host citySochi, Russia
MottoHot. Cool. Yours.[1]
(Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)
Nations participating88
Athletes participating2,800+ (estimated)
Events98 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening ceremony7 February
Closing ceremony23 February
Officially opened byVladimir Putin
Athlete's OathRuslan Zakharov[2]
Judge's OathVyacheslav Vedenin
Coach's OathAnastasia Popkova [2]
Olympic TorchVladislav Tretiak
Irina Rodnina
StadiumFisht Olympic Stadium

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver), is a major international multi-sport event being held in Sochi, Russia in the tradition of the Winter Olympic Games. Scheduled for 7–23 February 2014, opening rounds in certain events 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.

A total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines are being held during the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—are being 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 are being 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 the 2014 Games 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 anti-LGBT policies, which led to ongoing Olympic-focussed protests of the laws and its effects, protests by ethnic Circassian activists over the site of Sochi (the site of what they consider to be a genocide) and various security concerns over threats by jihadist groups tied to the insurgency in the North Caucasus.

Bidding process

Fans celebrate in Sochi after learning that Sochi had won the bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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.[3] 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
CityCountry (NOC)Round 1Round 2
Sochi Russia3451
Pyeongchang South Korea3647
Salzburg Austria25

Financing

Funds approved
from 2006 until 2014
YearBillions of rubles[4]
20065
200716
200832
200927
201022
201127
201226
201322
20148

As of October 2013, the estimated combined cost of the 2014 Winter Olympics had topped US$51 billion.[5] This amount includes the 214 billion rubles (US$ 6.5 billion) cost for Olympic games themselves and cost of Sochi infrastructural projects (roads, railroads, power plants). 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,[6] which hosted 3 times as many events.[7]

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.[8] The Russian Government provided nearly 327 billion rubles (about US$10 billion) for the total development, expansion and hosting of the Games.[9] 192 billion rubles (US$6 billion) coming from the federal budget and 7 billion rubles (US$218 million) 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.[10]

Financing from non-budget sources (including private investor funds) is distributed as follows:[11]

Venues

Sochi (Afro-Eurasia2)
Sochi
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.[12] Sochi 2014 is the 12th straight Olympics to outlaw smoking; all Sochi venues, Olympic Park bars and restaurants and public areas are smoke-free during the Games.[13] It is also the first time that a Olympic Park has been built for hosting a winter games.

Sochi Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)

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.[14][15] The venues are clustered around a central water basin on which the Medals Plaza is built, allowing all indoor venues to be within walking distance. The new venues include:[16]

A sketch of the layout of Sochi Olympic Park.

Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)

Ski resort of Roza Khutor at Krasnaya Polyana.
2014 Winter Olympics Mountain Cluster Venues

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.[17] The first race will take place after the Closing Ceremony of the Games, and the IOC has announced that the race will be delayed until 2015 if construction of the circuit interferes with preparations for the 2014 Olympics.[18]

Marketing

The Soyuz rocket with the logo of the Sochi Olympics.

Logo and branding

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).[19] 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.[19]

The Games' official slogan, "Hot.Cool.Yours." ("Жаркие.Зимние.Твои." in Russian) was unveiled on September 25, 2012 to mark the 500-day milestone before the Opening Ceremony. Presenting the slogan, SOC president Dmitry Chernyshenko explained that it represented the "passion" of the Games' athletes, the climate of Sochi itself, and a sense of inclusion and belonging. The Russian-language version of the slogan uses words that can be translated as "heated" and "wintry", a more accurate reflection of Chernyshenko's explanation than the simpler terms used by the English slogan, which is intended to emphasize the "hot" coastal climate and "cool" mountain climate of the Games.[20][21]

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 an snow leopard. The initial rounds consisted of online voting among submissions, while the final round involved text messaging.[22][23][24]

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.[24][25]

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.[26] Others are Sochi 2014: Ski Slopestyle Challenge for Android operating system and Sochi 2014: Olympic Games Resort for online social network Facebook.[27]

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.[28]

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 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.[29] 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.[30]

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 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.[31][32]

The 2014 Olympics is the first "fabric-enabled" Games using Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) technology.[33] The network is capable of handling up to 54,000 Gbit/s (54 Tbit/s) of traffic.[34]

Infrastructure built for the games included:

During the Games, the core networks of Rostelecom and Transtelekom are used.[35]

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.[36]

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.[37]

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).[38]

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.[39]

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.[40]

Rostelecom also built LTE 4th generation network. It covers an area of 40 km2 (15 sq mi) 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.[41] 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 km (19 miles), depending on terrain. They are used as a backup transmitter, two multiplexes 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.[42]

On 11 December 2013 Rostelecom said it had completed its infrastructure for the games. The transport component of the infrastructure includes about 500 kilometres (310 miles) 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 metres (0.5 acre). The Center is aimed to process information flows, manage the Games' united network and integrate special solutions for each sport.[43]

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.[44][45]

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.[46]

According to the strategy, the capacity of the regional energy network 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.

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.[48]

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.[49]

Transportation

A "Lastochka" train, which 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 (228 miles) of roads were paved.[50]

The Sochi Light Metro is located between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana connecting the Olympic Park, the airport, and the venues in Krasnaya Polyana.[51]

The transport system serving the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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 which would be partly built in Russia.[52]

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.[53]

At the Sochi airport, a new terminal had been built along a 3.5 km (2.2-mile) runway extension, possibly overlapping Mzymta River.[54] Backup airports were built in Gelendzhik, Mineralnye Vody and Krasnodar by 2009.[55] A new railway line was built to connect central Sochi and the local airport. The line is served by Lastochka trains; a new type of electric locomotive, based on the Siemens Desiro design, eveloped for commuting in the Russian environment. All Russian Railways facilities in Sochi have been built or retrofitted to accommodate disabled passengers.

Sochi seaport.

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.[56] The cargo terminal of the seaport is to be moved from the centre of Sochi.

Roadways have been detoured, some going around the construction site and others being cut off.[57]

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:[58]

Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin said the road construction would cost more than 200 billion rubles.[59]

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 kilometres (93 mi) 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.[60]

Other infrastructure

Funds were spent on the construction of hotels for 10,300 guests.[61] The first of the Olympic hotels, Zvezdny (Stellar), is rebuilt anew.[62] Significant funds were spent on the 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.[63]

Six post offices were opened at competition venues, two of them in the main media centre in Olympic Park and in the mountain village of Estosadok. In addition to standard services, clients 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.[64]

The Games

Torch relay

The torch relay lasted 123 days and measured over 64,000 kilometres (40,000 mi) in length, excluding Earth orbits in space. 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.[50]

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 started 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.[65] It is the longest torch relay in Olympic history, a 40,000-mile route that passes 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 a 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.[66][67] The torch also reached the Europe's highest mountain Mount Elbrus, and even the depths of Siberia's Lake Baikal.[68]

Opening ceremony

Fireworks over Fisht Olympic Stadium following the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.

The opening ceremony took place on February 7, 2014. More than 3,000 people from artistic groups participated in dance, ballet, acrobatic and circus performances during the opening ceremony which was watched by a 40,000 strong audience at Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Figure skater Irina Rodnina and ice hockey player Vladislav Tretiak lit the torch.[69]

Participating National Olympic Committees

A record 88 nations qualified to compete,[70] which beat the previous record of 82 set at the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The number of athletes who qualified per country is listed below . Seven nations, Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, and Zimbabwe, are making their Winter Olympics debut.[71]

Kristina Krone qualified to compete in her second consecutive games for Puerto Rico, but the island's Olympic Committee chose not to send her to compete again as they did in 2010.[72] Similarly, South Africa decided not to send alpine skier Sive Speelman to Sochi.[73] Algeria also did not enter its only qualified athlete, Mehdi-Selim Khelifi.[74]

The participating nations at the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi:
  Countries debuting in the Winter Olympics
  Not debuting, participant nations
  A citizen is competing under the Olympic flag
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.
Algeria
Colombia
Ethiopia
Ghana
North Korea
Senegal
South Africa
British Virgin Islands
Dominica
Luxembourg
Malta
Paraguay
Philippines
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Venezuela
Virgin Islands
Zimbabwe

a India's athletes originally competed as Independent Olympic Participants and marched under the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony, as India was originally suspended in December 2012 over the election process of the Indian Olympic Association.[75] On 11 February, the Indian Olympic Association was reinstated and India's athletes were allowed the option to compete under their own flag from that that time onward.[76]

National houses

During the Games some countries will have a national house, a meeting places for supporters, athletes and other followers.[77] Houses can be either free for visitors to access or they can have limited access by invitation only.[78]

NationLocationNameWebsite
AustriaMountain ClusterAustria Tirol HouseOfficial website
Canada[79]Coastal Cluster (Next to Fisht Olympic Stadium)Canada House
China[80]Zhemchuzhina hotelChina House
Czech Republic[81]AdlerCzech House
France[82]Gornaya Karusel (Mountain Cluster)Club FranceOfficial website
Germany[83]Estosadok, Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)German HouseOfficial website
Italy[84]Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)Italy HouseOfficial website
Japan[78]Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)Japan House
Latvia[85]Radisson HotelLatvian House
Netherlands[86]Azimut Hotel Resort (near Coastal Cluster)Holland Heineken HouseOfficial website
Russia[78]Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)NOC Hospitality Houses of Russia
Slovakia[87]Sochi railway stationSlovak Point
South Korea[78]Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)Pyeongchang 2018 Korea House (no official)
Switzerland[78]Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)House of SwitzerlandOfficial website
United States[88]Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)USA House

Sports

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 are contested to make it the largest Winter Olympics to date.[89][90] 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.[91] The events include:

On 4 July 2011 the IOC announced that three events would be added to the program.[92] These events were officially declared by Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on 5 July 2011.[90]

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.[93] There were reports of Bandy possibly being added to the sports program,[94][95][96] 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.[97]

Medals

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.[100] 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.[101]

Medal table

Key

   *   Host nation (Russia)

RankNOCGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Germany (GER)72110
2 Canada (CAN)44210
3 Norway (NOR)43613
4 Netherlands (NED)43512
5 United States (USA)42612
6 Switzerland (SUI)3014
7 Russia (RUS)*25411
8 China (CHN)2103
9 France (FRA)2024
10 Poland (POL)2002
11–23Remaining NOCs5171133
Total393738114

Calendar

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.[102]

All dates are MSK (UTC+4)
OCOpening ceremonyEvent competitions1Event finalsEGExhibition galaCCClosing ceremony
February6th
Thu
7th
Fri
8th
Sat
9th
Sun
10th
Mon
11th
Tue
12th
Wed
13th
Thu
14th
Fri
15th
Sat
16th
Sun
17th
Mon
18th
Tue
19th
Wed
20th
Thu
21st
Fri
22nd
Sat
23rd
Sun
Events
CeremoniesOCCC
Alpine skiing111111111110
Biathlon1111111111111
Bobsleigh1113
Cross-country skiing112111121112
Curling112
Figure skating11111EG5
Freestyle skiing11111112110
Ice hockey112
Luge11114
Nordic combined1113
Short track speed skating112138
Skeleton112
Ski jumping11114
Snowboarding1111112210
Speed skating1111111111212
Total events585866675658677398
Cumulative total5131826323844515662677581889598
February6th
Thu
7th
Fri
8th
Sat
9th
Sun
10th
Mon
11th
Tue
12th
Wed
13th
Thu
14th
Fri
15th
Sat
16th
Sun
17th
Mon
18th
Tue
19th
Wed
20th
Thu
21st
Fri
22nd
Sat
23rd
Sun
Events

Security

Measures

Security during the Games will is being handled by over 40,000 law enforcement officials, including police and the Russian Armed Forces.[103][104] A Presidential Decree signed by President Vladimir Putin took effect on 7 January, requiring that any protests and demonstrations in Sochi and the surrounding area through 21 March (the end of the Paralympics) be approved by the Federal Security Service.[105] For the duration of the decree, travel restrictions will also be in effect in and around Sochi: "controlled" zones, dubbed the "ring of steel" by the media, cover the Coastal and Mountain clusters which encompass all of the Games' venues and infrastructure, including transport hubs such as railway stations. To enter controlled areas, visitors must pass through security checkpoints with x-ray machines, metal detectors and explosive material scanners.[106] Several areas are designated as "forbidden", including Sochi National Park and the border with Abkhazia.[105][107] An unmanned aerial vehicle squadron, along with S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense rockets will be used to protect Olympic airspace. Four gunboats were also deployed on the Black Sea to protect the coastline.[108]

A number of security organizations and forces began stationing in and around Sochi in January 2014; Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) was stationed in Sochi for the Games beginning on 7 January 2014.[109][110] A group of 10,000 Internal Troops of the Ministry of Interior will also provide security services during the Games.[111] In mid-January, 1,500 Siberian Regional Command troops were stationed in a military town near Krasnaya Polyana.[112] A group of 400 cossacks in traditional uniforms are also present to accompany police patrols.[113][114] The 58th Army unit of the Russian Armed Forces, will defend the Georgia-Russia border.[115] The United States also supplied Navy ships and other assets for security purposes.[116]

Incidents and threats

Organizers received several threats prior to the Games. In a July 2013 video release, Chechen Islamist commander Doku Umarov called for attacks on the Games, stating that the Games were being staged "on the bones of many, many Muslims killed ...and buried on our lands extending to the Black Sea."[117]

Threats were received from the group Vilayat Dagestan, which had claimed responsibility for the Volgograd bombings under the demands of Umarov, and a number of National Olympic Committees had also received threats via e-mail, threatening that terrorists would kidnap or "blow up" athletes during the Games. However, while the IOC did state that the letters "[contained] no threat and appears to be a random message from a member of the public", the U.S. ski and snowboarding teams hired a private security agency to provide additional protection during the Games.[115][118][119]

Media

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.[120]

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.[121]

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.[122]

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 A$20 million.[123][124][125]

Filming

Several broadcasters are using the Games to trial the emerging ultra high definition television (UHDTV) standard. Both NTV Plus and Comcast announced plans to film portions of the Games in 4K resolution; Comcast planned to offer its content through smart TV apps, while NTV+ planned to hold public and cinema viewings of the content. NHK will film portions of the Games in 8K resolution for public viewing. Olympic sponsor Panasonic filmed the opening ceremony in 4K.[126][127][128][129]

Sponsors

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

The following are the "Worldwide Olympic Partners":[130]

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 concerning exploitation of workers engaged in Olympic construction; allegations of the illegal dumping of construction waste threatening residents' health and safety; evictions and displacement of residents to make way for Olympic venues; economic issues; and harassment of environmental and human rights activists and journalists who criticise Olympic preparations or the government's anti-LGBT policies;[131][132][133] and 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.[134]

LGBT rights

LGBT demonstrators posing with the Sochi sign in Portland, Oregon

The rights of LGBT people in Russia were a major concern leading up to the Games. In March 2012, the Russian government blocked the establishment of a Pride House in Sochi for the Games, ruling that it would "[lead] to propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation which can undermine the security of Russian society", and that it contradicted with public morality and the country's policies "in the area of family motherhood and childhood protection."[135] The passing of a law in June 2013 banning the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors was criticized by LGBT rights activists, human rights activists, and world leaders, for being a broad attempt to suppress LGBT culture in Russia. In particular, activists argued the law was too vague (Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin believed that even kissing a same-sex partner or displaying LGBT symbols like the rainbow flag in public was illegal under the law),[131][132][136][137] attributed it to an increase in the level of homophobic violence in the country,[138][139][140] and considered it inconsistent with the Olympic Charter, which states that "[discrimination] on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."[141]

Although the IOC and President Vladimir Putin both guaranteed the safety of LGBT athletes and spectators during the Games,[142] Olympic-focused campaigns were held in protest of Russia's anti-LGBT polices, and there were also calls to boycott the Games,[131][143] although a writer for the Financial Times felt that a boycott would have been counter-productive, as there was no boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing despite China's poor human rights record.[144] In early February 2014, a group of 40 major human and LGBT rights organizations sent a joint letter to the ten Worldwide Olympic Partner companies, urging them to support the rights of LGBT people under the Olympic Charter, and pressure the IOC to show greater scrutiny towards the human rights abuses of future host countries.[145] On 3 February 2014, AT&T, a supporter of the United States Olympic Committee, issued a statement in support of LGBT rights at the Games, becoming the first major Olympic advertiser to condemn Russia's policies.[146]

A number of world leaders, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, François Hollande and Stephen Harper, declined to attend the Opening Ceremony as national delegates. Although they denied their decisions were for political reasons, there was speculation it may had been a symbolic boycott related to the anti-LGBT laws.[147][148][149] In response to the controversy, the U.S. appointed Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow, who are both openly gay, as its delegation instead. Although he stressed diversity and made no reference to the controversy when announcing them, U.S. president Barack Obama confirmed the intent of the selections in an interview prior to the games, stating that "there is no doubt we wanted to make it very clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."[150][151] Although the U.S. government was praised by HRC for the decision, a writer for the Washington Post has since noted that, though not to the same extent as the Russian law, eight U.S. states (including Utah, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics) have laws regulating or banning the coverage of homosexuality in school sex education classes.[152]

Circassian concerns

Circassians commemorate the banishment of the Circassians from Russia in Taksim, İstanbul

Some Circassian organisations have objected to the Games being held on land their ancestors held until 1864,[153][154] when most of them were vanquished at the end of the Russian-Circassian War (1763–1864), in what is called ethnic cleansing or genocide. The Games also coincide with the 150th anniversary of this event.[155][156] They demanded the Games be cancelled or moved unless Russia apologises.[157] Some Circassian groups accepted the Olympics, and argued that symbols of Circassian history and culture should be featured, as Australia, the United States and Canada did for their indigenous cultures in 2000, 2002, and 2010 respectively.[158]

The Games use of Krasnaya Polyana as a site for skiing and snowboarding events was also considered controversial to Circassians, as Krasnaya Polyana (which translates to "Red Hill" or "Red Glade"), was named for a group of Circassians who were defeated in a bloody battle with Russians while attempting to return home over it in 1864.[159][160]

Budget and infrastructure issues

While Olympic Games typically have high cost overruns, for the 2014 Games they are much higher than usual, with the costs being more than all the previous 21 Winter Olympics combined.[161] 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.[162] Oligarch Arkady Rotenberg has won contracts worth $7.4 billion.[162] In a press conference, IOC president Thomas Bach defended the high costs of the Games, stating that the costs were in line with previous Olympics, but that the additional costs were a "long-term investment" into making Sochi a year-round resort and winter sports complex.[163]

Criticism also surfaced over the quality and availability of accommodation in Sochi during the final weekend before the Games. Due to contractors failing to meet deadlines, along with inclement weather, three of the nine hotels for accredited media were left with unfinished rooms. Journalists reported various issues, including rooms that were unclean, no working water, discoloured tap water, and missing furniture or amenities. Executive Director Gilbert Felli stated that the rooms would be finished by 5 February, while Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak noted that the media hotels just needed a "final cleaning".[106][164][165][166][167]

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External links

Preceded by
Vancouver
Winter Olympics
Sochi

XXII Olympic Winter Games (2014)
Succeeded by
Pyeongchang