Russia starts counting down seconds to Sochi Olympics (VIDEO)
The Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk was first to start its clock, which was erected in front of the Platinum Arena where KHL side Amur play their home games.
"Russia has taken the great responsibility of preparing and hosting the Olympics,” Viktor Ishayev, Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, said during the ceremony. “It’s a big labor, but it’s also a great impulse to the development of sports all across the country, including the Khabarovsk Region and the Far East."
On Thursday, the countdown began in Moscow where a 7.8-ton clock was constructed on Manezhnaya Square just meters away from the Kremlin.
The clock started at 11:00 AM local time, with 364 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds on the display.
The ceremony was attended by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Olympic champions Svetlana Zhurova, Svetlana Khorkina and Ivan Ukhov as well as double Paralympic gold medalist, Olesya Vladykina.
The countdown to the first Winter Olympics to take place in Russia has also begun in Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Pyatigorsk.
The Black Sea resort city of Sochi will host the Games between February 7 and 23 next year, with the Paralympics scheduled for March 7-16.
To learn about the state of Sochi’s Olympic preparations a year before the Game, follow the link here.
The ceremony of launching a 2014 Olympics countdown clock on the square outside Platinum Arena, Khabarovsk (RIA Novosti / Vyacheslav Reutov)
2014 Sochi Olympics countdown clock on Nevsky prospectus in St. Petersburg (RIA Novosti / Igor Rustak)