The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially called the XXII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIIes Jeux olympiques d’hiver) (Russian: XXII Олимпийские зимние игры, tr. XXII Olimpiyskiye zimniye igry) and commonly known as Sochi 2014, were a major international multi-sport event held from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics were organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was previously the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. These were the first Olympic Games under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency of Thomas Bach.
A total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines were held during the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—were held during the Games, including biathlon mixed relay, women’s ski jumping, mixed-team figure skating, mixed-team luge, half-pipe skiing, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom. The events were held around two clusters of new venues: an Olympic Park constructed in Sochi’s Imeretinsky Valley on the coast of the Black Sea, with Fisht Olympic Stadium, and the Games’ indoor venues located within walking distance, and snow events in the resort settlement of Krasnaya Polyana.
In preparation, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power, and transportation infrastructures of the region. While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, making Sochi the most expensive Olympics in history.
The lead-up to these Games was marked by several major controversies, including allegations that corruption among officials led to the aforementioned cost overruns, concerns for the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes and spectators due to recent government actions, widespread allegations of doping by the Russian government, protests by ethnic Circassian activists over the site of Sochi (where they believe a genocide took place in the 19th century), and threats by jihadist groups tied to the insurgency in the North Caucasus. However, immediately following the closing ceremony, commentators evaluated the Games to have been successful overall.
Allegations concerning the corruption of the anti-doping system possinly employed during the Games surfaced in 2015, continuing through that year and 2016. In May 2016, The New York Times published allegations by the former director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, that a conspiracy of corrupt anti-doping officials, FSB intelligence agents, and compliant Russian athletes used banned substances to gain an unfair advantage during the Games. Rodchenkov stated that the FSB tampered with over 100 urine samples as part of a cover-up, and that a third of the Russian medals won at Sochi were the result of doping.
Logo and branding
The emblem of the 2014 Winter Olympics was unveiled in December 2009. While more elaborate designs with influence from Khokhloma were considered, organizers chose to use a more minimalistic and “futuristic” design instead, consisting only of typefaces with no drawn elements at all. The emblem was designed so that the “Sochi” and “2014” lettering would mirror each other vertically, “reflecting” the contrasts of Russia’s landscape (such as Sochi itself, a meeting point between the Black Sea and the Western Caucasus). Critics, including Russian bloggers, panned the logo for being too simplistic and lacking any real symbolism; Guo Chunning, designer of the 2008 Summer Olympics emblem Dancing Beijing, criticized it for its lack of detail, and believed it should have contained more elements that represented winter and Russia’s national identity, aside from its blue color scheme and its use of .ru, the top-level domain of Russia.
The Games’ official slogan, Hot. Cool. Yours. (Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.), was unveiled on 25 September 2012, 500 days before the opening ceremony. Presenting the slogan, SOC president Dmitry Chernyshenko explained that it represented the “passion” and heated competition of the Games’ athletes, the contrasting climate of Sochi, and a sense of inclusion and belonging
The Olympic infrastructure was constructed according to a Federal Target Program (FTP). In June 2009, the Games’ organizers reported they were one year ahead in building the main Olympic facilities as compared to recent Olympic Games. In November 2011, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Sochi and concluded that the city had made significant progress since he last visited eighteen months earlier
The transport infrastructure prepared to support the Olympics includes many roads, tunnels, bridges, interchanges, railroads and stations in and around Sochi. Among others, 8 flyovers, 102 bridges, tens of tunnels and a bypass route for heavy trucks — 367 km (228 miles) of roads were paved.
The Sochi Light Metro is located between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana connecting the Olympic Park, Sochi International Airport, and the venues in Krasnaya Polyana
The existing 102 km (63-mile), Tuapse-to-Adler railroad was renovated to provide double track throughout, increasing capacity and enabling a reliable regional service to be provided and extending to the airport. In December 2009, Russian Railways ordered 38 Siemens Mobility Desiro trains for delivery in 2013 for use during the Olympics, with an option for a further 16 partly built in Russia. Russian Railways established a high-speed Moscow-Adler link and a new railroad (more than 60 kilometres or 37 miles long) passing by the territory of Ukraine.
by simon schofield