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23 Apr, 2008 17:16

Sochi Olympics “most challenging ever”: IOC

Preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are extremely challenging, but Russia will succeed. That is according to inspectors from the International Olympic Committee. IOC members have concluded their first assessment visit to the Russian Black S

Jean-Claude Killy, the Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, is positive about what he and his colleagues saw.

“Sochi 2014 has made a good and quick start to its preparation. And this give“probably the most challenging ever in terms of what has to be built”.s us a lot of confidence for the future,” he said, adding that the Sochi Olympics are

Even though Sochi won the Olympic bid just several months ago, work is moving full-steam ahead. Several sporting facilities have already been built.

Organisers are planning to finish all construction by the year 2012, and after that they will have a chance to test the facilities during smaller winter sporting events.

But aside from construction plans, a lot has to be done to preserve Sochi’s unique wildlife. Besides moving some future construction sites – which is being considered at present – the Russian government is ready to spend billions of roubles on creating new natural reserve parks in the area. According to the Regional Development Minister, Dmitry Kozak, there are projects to create two reservations for rare bird species and also to bring Caucasian leopards back to the area.

Another factor that the organizers are prioritising is the establishment of modern information facilities. From now on everyone, including the international press, will have a chance to get the latest news about the Olypmics from the newly built press centre. Its knowledge database and telephone hot-line will provide the public with any facts about the future games.

The visit of the IOC was the first major exam for the organisers, but not the final one. The commission will return to Sochi in early 2009.