Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 18, 2014 13:21:25 GMT -5
Russia blows away the Paralympics competition with 80 medals.
RT America Mar 17, 2014
The 11th Winter Paralympics ended in Sochi, Russia on Monday, concluding nine days of competition by disabled athletes. The games - the largest ever - featured 547 athletes from 45 different countries in 72 different winter sport events. Athletes were grouped into six different competitive categories: amputee, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, wheelchair, visually impaired, and Les Autres (or "Others"). Russia ran away with the total medal count, winning 80 medals overall. Ukraine came in second with 25 medals, and the US came in third with 18 medals, including their second sled-hockey gold in a row. Gayane Chichakyan hears from RT's Lindsay France in Sochi about the end of competition and the Closing Ceremony.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 24, 2014 18:30:47 GMT -5
Putin Bestows Awards Upon Sochi Olympic Organizers.
MOSCOW, March 24 (R-Sport) - Russian President Vladimir Putin bestowed one of the country's highest civilian awards Monday upon officials tasked with organizing the Sochi Olympics for their role in ensuring the success of the Games.
Last month’s Winter Olympics on the Black Sea coast were widely lauded as one of the most successful in history, including by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who called them a true “athletes’ Games.”
At a lavish ceremony in the Kremlin on Monday, Putin handed out the state order For Merit to the Fatherland, 1st Class, to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the government's Olympic supervisor, with Dmitry Chernyshenko, the CEO of the organizing committee, receiving the 2nd Class equivalent.
"One of the biggest legacy effects is the growth in sports participation among young people," Putin told the recipients. "And it was the athletes' performances that inspired them," he added.
Russia finished at the top of the medal count for both the Olympics and the Paralympics, a result that few saw coming based on the performances of its athletes in the run-up to the Games.
Others bestowed the 2nd Class honor were Konstantin Ernst, the creative director of Channel One television who choreographed the acclaimed opening and closing ceremonies, and Alexander Tkachev, the governor of Krasnodar Region, where Sochi is located.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko received the 3rd Class honor. Various awards also went to 35 other officials including Russian Biathlon Union president and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov and Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov.
Post by TsarSamuil on Apr 16, 2014 14:26:47 GMT -5
Sochi Olympics made $22 mn profit.
RT.com April 16, 2014 15:28
The Sochi Games became the first profitable Olympic Games in a decade, surpassing spending by $22 million, says Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak.
"It is impressive the organizing committee has earned over 800 million rubles more than was spent, this is a good result as in recent years the Olympic Games haven't made a profit," Interfax quotes Kozak as saying.
According to the head of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, the operating profit on the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, that includes the property which was transferred to sports development in the country, totals around $140 million.
The whole Sochi Olympic Games cost $6 billion, of which $2.7 billion came from central government, the remainder was financed by private companies.
"Distribution of the profit hasn't been done yet. The Organizing Committee, the Sports Ministry and the Ministry of Finance are deciding where the money will go", Kozak said.
The funds will be ploughed back into Russian sport.
"The Russian Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee of Russia are asking for part of this money. And I think that we will grant both requests", Kozak added.
At the end of March at the council meeting President Vladimir Putin suggested profits from the XXII Winter Olympic Games will be used to develop mass sports. In particular the Russian leader wanted to support the "Sports for all" movement, and also to give help to sports clubs which are located “within walking distance”.
Annually the state budget will allocate $111 million to the maintenance of Sochi’s sport venues and road networks.
As Dmitry Kozak said, the venues which were transferred to Krasnodar Krai, will be financed by the regional budget, while the federal venues will receive funds from the central budget.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 31, 2015 19:56:30 GMT -5
One year on: How the Western media finally changed its tune on Sochi.
Bryan MacDonald is a Russia-based Irish journalist and media commentator who focuses on Russia and its hinterlands and international geo-politics.
RT.com January 29, 2015 08:13
Almost a year after the Sochi Olympics wowed winter sports enthusiasts worldwide, it’s possible to review the initial impact of their legacy. The former Soviet resort city has been transformed into a luxury destination the equal of anything in Europe.
“What are you doing in Sochi? Sure, it’s a ghost town.” “How do you know that?” “All the newspapers say it.”
I’ve had that conversation (and variants of it) on numerous occasions since I first arrived in Sochi at the end of November. The Western press decided to create a narrative that Sochi was a ‘white elephant’ shortly after the Olympic Games and the reputational damage is hard to shake off.
However, if Russia's Black Sea pearl is a chalky proboscidean, the Moon is made of cheese.
Happily, many of the more credible elements in the mainstream media have finally seen the error of their ways and are suddenly issuing more balanced evaluations of the Sochi situation. Nonetheless, some of the usual suspects in Russia-bashing have yet to warm to reality, a concept they frequently struggle with.
Driving around Sochi at rush-hour, in traffic that’s certainly not Moscow or Los Angeles gridlocked but definitely busier than any European resort that I have experienced, you’d almost wish the naysayers had been right. The city has been hopping this winter season as post-Olympic curiosity, a weak ruble and sheer bloody-minded patriotism attracted huge numbers.
Of course, this doesn’t suit many people. Here’s a taste of some of the nonsense written about Sochi last year.
Only a few weeks ago, the perennially clueless Guardian wrote “the city now feels like a ghost town” — giving the population of 300,000 (which was roughly true in 1979) when it’s in fact more than 420,000 (as of 2010, and probably higher now).
Every city has quiet areas if you look hard enough, even London - as The Guardian could easily confirm by taking the tube to parts of Knightsbridge or Hampstead.
The Interpreter, an anti-Russia propaganda blog based in the US, outdid itself in August by complaining that there were no tourists in Sochi, using photos of the mountain resorts to illustrate. As they were doubtlessly aware, this area is designed for winter sports. On the day of publication, August 21st, it was 29 degrees Celsius in Sochi. It had been 34 degrees a few days earlier. How stupid (or crazy) does someone have to be to imagine that anybody would be skiing in such conditions? That said, when it comes to opportunities for smearing people or nations, The Interpreter rarely lets facts get in the way.
The Daily Mail also got in on the act, using pictures from the southern limits of the city, around 50km from the center.
Meanwhile, in October, CNN decided to send a correspondent to report on the deserted mountain cluster.
On October 13th, when the piece was published, it was 23 degrees in Sochi. This probably explains why the winter sports area was empty. I don't know about you, but I'd fancy the beach more than a ski-trail in such weather.
Reality makes a comeback
However, the tide has finally turned. This month, The Washington Post came to Krasnaya Polyana and almost told the truth. The once-venerable US newspaper did place too much emphasis on the ruble crisis being Sochi’s saving grace but at least admitted that it wasn’t the only reason.
“Skiing isn’t a poor man’s sport, and as many Russian tourists hitting the slopes at Krasnaya Polyana this month pointed out, they probably could have managed to pay for European trips if they had really wanted to. But in the current political climate, they just didn’t,” wrote Karoun Demirijian.
Bloomberg, to its credit, also dropped a well-researched article on how Switzerland’s swanky St Moritz was losing out to its new Russian rival.
Anyway, enough media comparison - time for some facts. I’ve been in Sochi all ‘winter’ and have observed plenty of fun and frolics. Yes, it’s true that the Olympic cluster, near the Abkhazian border, is a tad ‘ghostly’ on days when no events are being played.
World Cup preparations
A major issue is the fact that the centerpiece Fisht stadium is undergoing a massive renovation to transform it into a football venue before the 2018 World Cup. Aside from evenings when the Sochi Leopards (a professional Ice Hockey team) are playing, there’s not much going on. It’s worth noting that London’s $800 million Olympic Stadium has been closed since 2013 as it is adapted for future use, also as a soccer stadium. I doubt there’s much happening around there at night either.
On the other hand, Krasnaya Polyana is mobbed. Rather than worrying about lack of numbers, the biggest problem this winter has been too many visitors. All accommodation at the resort was fully booked long before the New Year holidays.
Instead of looking to attract tourists, the authorities had to discourage them. Prices of Ski lift passes were raised (to $205 for 6 days) and eventually restricted to hotel residents only. In December, officials advertised on TV asking local residents to stay away from Krasnaya Polyana in January to avoid overcrowding.
Far from the mountain cluster, in the city center, there are very few vacant shop units. Due to the ruble’s travails and a general lack of economic confidence in Russia, prices have dipped (in dollar terms) but activity has yet to fall off. On the contrary, Sochi’s business community are intensively preparing for what they assume will be a bumper summer as Russians eschew foreign destinations for domestic pleasures.
In the southern suburb of Adler, some hotels are presently extending, and one owner told me that he's already sold out 40 rooms for all of July and August. That said, he has one small problem, 10 of those haven't actually been built yet and construction workers are hard to find.
The Sochi reality and the myopic version of it presented by Russia-baiting sections of the Western press are two very different things. When faced with articles complaining of empty beaches in winter and deserted ski slopes in summer, it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. The reality is that the mountain cluster is full to capacity this winter and all signs are that its sea equivalent will experience the same effect later this year.
That probably won't stop some from lamenting the lack of skiers in August or beach volleyball enthusiasts in February.
Sochi marks 1st anniversary of Olympic Winter Games (PHOTOS)
RT.com February 08, 2015 00:07
A year has passed since the extravagant opening ceremony of Russia’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Thousands, including President Vladimir Putin gathered in the southern city to celebrate the anniversary.
Speaking at an ice performance to mark the event, Putin thanked “everyone who participated in the Winter Olympic Games: The construction workers, organizers, journalists, volunteers, and, of course, our wonderful athletes, whose victories highlighted our Olympic celebration.”
The 2014 Sochi Olympics, the most expensive in history, were also the warmest Winter Games ever taking place in the subtropical Russia’s south.
Many remember the awe-inspiring performances of gold medal winning figure skater, Yuliya Lipnitskaya, who was just fifteen during the Games. Lipnitskaya, herself, attended Saturday’s event.
Also in attendance were legendary figure skater, Evgeni Plushenko and the gold medal winning bobsledder Aleksandr Zubkov.
A ceremony to unveil the “Wall of Champions” was held on Saturday. A monument in the shape of two pyramids symbolizing mountains covered in snow was erected on Medals Plaza Square in honor of the winners.
Though the success of the Sochi Olympics has largely been overshadowed by Crimean referendum and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Games remain a bright spot in an otherwise tumultuous year.
Many international sports organizers returned to Sochi to mark the anniversary.
Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, who has been to eight Winter Games, told RT that the 2014 Games were the best he’s ever been to.
“For me this is no doubt the best ever Winter Games I was in, especially for our sport, ice hockey,” he told RT.
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a photo with Russian Paralympic team athletes (RT video screen grab)Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a photo with Russian Paralympic team athletes (RT video screen grab)
The event, however did not pass without hiccups. During the opening ceremony, just four of the five Olympic rings lit up. Organizers took the setback in stride and even deliberately repeated the glitch during the closing ceremony.
Many also recall some of the missteps in the preparations to the Games. Social media users even created the hashtag #SochiProblems highlighting some of the city’s gaffes, including the infamous double toilet. The Western media, meanwhile, used the Games for traditional Russia-bashing – and got trolled by Jimmy Kimmel Live show.
But in the end many agreed that the Games surpassed expectations. “People could not believe what they have seen here. Also in this park, they were concerned people would not come, but it was full and the atmosphere was great, so it was more than expected,” Gilbert Felli, the executive director of the International Olympic Committee told RT.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 28, 2015 12:10:50 GMT -5
Sochi Olympic Games Made $53Mln Profit – IOC.
SPORT 12:25 27.02.2015
The Sochi Olympic Games were held February 7-23, 2014 and were the first Winter Olympics held in Russia.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia's Sochi generated an operating profit of about 3.25 billion rubles ($53 million), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday.
IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams made a statement during an IOC Executive Board meeting in Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Summer Olympics in 2016.
The cost of the Sochi Games was set at $41 billion. The budget was based on investments, public funding and a contribution from the IOC. In total, IOC gave support in the amount of $833 million for the Games in Sochi, $83 million more than was initially expected.
As for the upcoming Summer Games in Rio, the Committee is planning to contribute $1.5 billion.
Earlier this month, IOC President Thomas Bach declared and praised the Sochi Games' success, saying that Russia had provided many lasting legacies and had kept all the promises given, including "seamless organization," "excellent sports venues and outstanding Olympic villages."
The Sochi Olympic Games were held February 7-23, 2014 and were the first Winter Olympics held in Russia. Russian athletes topped the medal list, winning 13 gold medals and 33 medals in total.
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