Sochi 2014: Russia prepares for 1st IOC inspection

The Russian Cabinet has started to discuss the first preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. The first commission of the International Olympic Committee will visit Russia as soon as August to monitor the progress.

As the final celebrations of Sochi’s Olympic bid victory have calmed down in Russia, it’s the time to get down to work, and even harder than ever before.
The Cabinet and the Bidding Committee now have less than two months to prepare for the first inspection from the IOC, due on August 27. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development will lead the Sochi project.
“I again congratulate and thank you all. But our victory now is history. So it belongs to the past. And we have to stop just thinking about it, stop celebrating, and get down to business. The requirements we’ll have to face now are much higher than those we faced applying for these games, we’ve to understand this clearly,” German Gref, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development, commented.    
Mr Gref says that their goal is to complete all the construction works in Sochi by 2013, a year ahead of the deadline.
For the region set to host the games, it’s not only about the Olympics. There’s an ambitious $US12 BLN programme to renew or build infrastructure in Sochi and around. It will include highways, hotels and hospitals.
The cost of the Olympic facilities alone is estimated at some $US 1,5 BLN. The project will see the construction of dozens of modern sporting venues in Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana from scratch.
“We have yet to create an efficient communication with the IOC that will thoroughly monitor our progress, watch the implementation of our obligations. The IOC Assessment Commission that highly estimated our project, also pointed out a very serious control will be needed over how it’s going to be fulfilled,” Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi Bidding Committee Chairman, explained.
With critics saying a big chunk of the allocated money could be stolen by corrupted officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally stressed that  transparency will matter.
Presenting the bid in Guatemala Mr Putin said the country still doesn’t have its own mountain sport facilities. Sochi’s victory will help construct them, boosting winter sports in Russia. But the overall long-term effect will certainly go far beyond promoting bobsleigh or curling.
Muscovites are still enjoying dozens of Olympic facilities, inherited from the 1980 Games in Moscow, like the Luzhniki stadium or the Olympiysky sport complex. With $US 12 BLN of financing, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi will surely leave a vast heritage for the generations to come.

Meanwhile, Sergey Ivanov, First Deputy Prime Minister, on a visit to the Russian Black Sea coast, has promised additional space will be provided for the guests of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, this time with a maritime theme.

“A decision has been made that Sochi's port will build a modern retractable passenger terminal capable of accepting at least two big cruise liners. A big cruise liner, for your information, is about 3,000 rooms. In this way, beside the newly built hotels we can provide mooring for two big cruise ships in time for the Olympic Games,” Mr Ivanov pledged.