SOCHI, Russia – As Sochi 2014 reaches the midway mark in its preparations for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission paid its fourth visit to the Russian host city from 12 to 14 October. The Commission praised Sochi’s progress and said that, with 1,211 days to go, the Russian organisers remain on track to host great Winter Games.
Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy said: “Once again we have been impressed by the quality of the work that Sochi 2014 and its partners have presented to us during our visit. As they reach the halfway point in their preparations, we can see the progress that is being made, with sporting venues rising from the ground, new sections of road being used by the public, and environmental initiatives being undertaken. Sochi 2014 is delivering on its promises to the athletes, and preparations remain on track.”
Killy continued: “It is also reassuring to see that the Sochi team has understood what still needs to be delivered, both in terms of infrastructure and in services to the athletes and others attending the Games. They are attentive to the task ahead, and this must continue until the Games are over. With the highly competent team they have in place, I have no doubt that this will be the case.”
René Fasel, IIHF President, IOC Executive member and member of the Coordination Commission, is also looking forward to great ice hockey tournaments after having observed the work being done at the venues.
“The construction of the two ice hockey venues is in very good shape,” Fasel said upon his return from Sochi. “I am very happy with the progress of both the Bolshoi (“big”) and the Maly (“small”) Ice Palaces. Ice hockey will have two great venues in 2014.”
Dmitri Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to show the excellent progress we are making in the preparations for Russia’s first Winter Games, and express our appreciation to the IOC Coordination Commission for sharing their time and expertise with us in Sochi.” He continued: “Significant steps forward have been made across all areas of our work, ensuring we remain on track to deliver an inspirational and innovative Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2014.”
The Commission also met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during its visit, with Chairman Killy and Gilbert Felli, IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games, joining him on a visit to a village built for local relocated residents and some infrastructure projects related to the Games. Putin underlined to Killy that these new roads and railway lines would be used by Sochi residents for more than 70 years.
While preparations for Sochi 2014 remain on track, the Commission underlined that there remained areas that needed to continue to be carefully monitored by the local organisers.
“As we’ve said since day one, there are a number of areas that require careful monitoring by Sochi 2014 to ensure that they are delivered in the most efficient manner possible,” Killy said. “Here we are talking about construction – in particular of accommodation -; workforce recruitment and training; and the coordination of Games operations. Each of these areas is key for any Games, and Sochi 2014 is no exception. The organisers have underlined to us that they know that they must pay close attention to these areas, and I am sure that they will not let us down.”
During its visit, the Commission saw a number of venues and infrastructure projects in the Adler region, including the Bolshoi Ice Palace, Olympic Stadium, Olympic Skating Centre, the combined road Adler – Alpika Service, and the new International Airport Terminal. It also heard reports on a number of Games-related areas, such as athlete services, sustainability, spectator experience, Paralympic Games, technology, construction, accommodation, transport, culture, education, sport, media services, medical, and work force. The next visit of the Coordination Commission to Sochi will be from 22 to 24 March 2011.
With files from the IOC