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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Sochi: Waiting with open arms

Sochi: Waiting with open arms

On 4th July, in Guatemala City, the International Olympic Committee will choose the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics from the short-list composed by Sochi (Russian Federation), Salzburg (Austria) and PyeongChang (Republic of Korea). Sochi, on the Russian Riviera, has a unique combination of Mediterranean and alpine climates and the Games would transform a Summer holiday resort into a year-round holiday and sports venue of the highest quality.

If the Olympic Games is about establishing friendly contacts through sport, then a choice in favour of Sochi would recognise Russia’s unparalleled contribution to this end. If the Olympic Games is about rewarding a spirit of friendship, debate and dialogue in international relations, then a choice in favour of Sochi would reward Russia’s practising the Olympic spirit in her dealings with the international community.

Sochi is prepared

Sochi is prepared and waiting to embrace its visitors with open arms, an embrace given with the warmest traditional Russian hospitality. Much has been done to prepare fully for the bid: the Federal Target Programme for the Development of Sochi has provided 12 billion USD for the building of new infrastructures, while a Supervisory Commission will guarantee the implementation of the project well before the opening cerimony.

Future impact

A decision in favour of Sochi would have a tremendous impact on the region: at a stroke, a Summer resort will become a year-round venue, boosting the number of visitors from 3 to 6 million and greatly increasing the local economy.

The Greenest Winter Olympics in history

A special project to incorporate and upgrade the region’s environmental aspects into the project will safeguard the 200.000 hectares of forests around Sochi and the 30.000 species of wild plants in its botanical gardens, wildlife parks and nature reserves, making Sochi the Greenest Winter Olympics in history.

Sochi is waiting with open arms

The Sochi bid will provide 11 state-of-the-art, custom-built, cutting-edge brand new venues, a new Olympic Park (the first to incorporate the Olympic Village, the Main Stadium and all ice venues). 59 km of high-speed roads (Olympic Lanes) will connect all areas, together with a new railway network and a tunnel, while Sochi International Airport will be upgraded to receive 3.800 passengers per hour.

A choice in favour of Sochi is a clear recognition of Russia’s unequalled contribution to sport and a clear sign that in choosing the host city, the IOC is favouring the creation of links for the future and fostering development of local economies, rather than simply giving the nod to the same old candidates time after time.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru

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