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24 Feb, 2009 14:23

Full-steam ahead for Sochi Olympics

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has presided over a meeting to discuss preparations for the XXII Winter Olympic Games of 2014 in Sochi at the Sports Council Board in Moscow.

The meeting took place at a new 2014 Olympics media centre opened today by Putin. The 300-square-meter large centre on Zubovsky Boulevard in Moscow has a show room and a press centre that can host up to 60 people. Thanks to special equipment, it’s also possible to hold video conferences at the center.

Speaking at the session, the Prime Minister said that about 80% of the money allocated for the Sochi Olympics will be spent on the development of the region, such as road construction, ecological issues, energy, and communication. Only 20 per cent will be spent on building Olympic objects.

Also, Putin said a state doping control system should be established in national sports and tougher penalties introduced for doping if necessary.

The Prime Minister is taking a personal interest in the games as he pushed Russia's bid to host the event.

The 2014 Winter Olympics may seem a long way off, but the host city – Russia's most famous subtropical resort of Sochi – is still little more than a massive construction site.

Transstroy Co. is responsible for building a cargo sea port in Sochi. The construction site suffered heavy damage when a storm on the Black Sea hit it a few days ago. The weather in the subtropical region can be unpredictable, but the workers say they do what they can to keep to schedule.

“People in Russia are not afraid of hardships”, says Andrey Streltsov, an engineer in charge of 250 people working on site, “we'll do everything as planned, no matter how difficult it may seem.”

Once completed, approximately by the middle of 2010, the sea port will start serving the needs of the Winter Olympics construction project.

It is planned that in the Imereti lowland alone there will be several venues, including: hotels, the Olympic village, an ice rink, a Stadium and Curling centre.

After the games the sea port itself will be transformed into a yacht club to serve the needs of the local community.

Sochi won the Olympic bid in 2007. A massive construction campaign started in the city itself, and in the neighboring mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana, to prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Besides the venues, the campaign involves the construction of new power lines, communication networks and transportation routes.

A key task for the organizers is to establish a connection between the venues on the coast and in the Caucasus Mountains.

The Olympic family expressway will be high speed railway and motorway links between the Imereti Valley and the mountain ski tracks. Its construction is going full-steam ahead.

In the mountain sector of Olympic construction, changes can be seen everywhere.

The Mountain Shelter complex, a part of the Rosa Khutor alpine ski resort, is the site of the future Olympic Super G course. More than 20 Olympic Gold medals will be competed for on its slopes. Work at Rosa Khutor is now nearly complete.

The ski rental station is fully stocked, while locker rooms, restaurants and waiting areas are all ready to accept the first visitors. In just one year's time these facilities will be tested during local and national events.

The future Olympics are seen as an important test for Sochi, which is Russia's most famous subtropical resort. The organizers are certain that if everything goes as planned the 2014 Winter Olympics will be an unforgettable experience for sports fans worldwide.