SOCHI, RUSSIA – Today, The IOC Coordination Commission for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games concluded its sixth meeting in Sochi, Russia. Noting the good progress being made at all levels, in particular measures to generate interest in the Games across the country.
Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy said, “We have been very impressed with the way the organizers have proactively reached out to people in every corner of the country to make them feel part of the Sochi Games. The 2014 fan club is now well and truly in place across this great nation.”
Sochi 2014′s Cultural Olympiad, for example, will hold 850 events this year, with an anticipated reach of over 1 million people. Sochi’s education program is also seeing lessons on the 2014 Games, teaching 140,000 schoolchildren in 30 cities.
On the volunteer front, 26 “hubs” have been set up at universities around Russia, providing prospective volunteers information about the Games and training. Killy and Olympic Games Executive Director, Gilbert Felli, met with the rectors of the volunteer hubs during the visit, said the program will leave a great legacy for the nation and the Olympic Movement in Russia.
The catalytic effect of the Games in terms of tourism, elite sporting events, and participation in sports will help to benefit the country as well as the city. Having over 60 test events planned before the 2014 Olympics, these trends should continue far into the future.
With 55,000 workers on the ground, all of the Olympic venues are now under construction and the Commission was impressed with the progress it saw on its tour of the Olympic Park. They also stressed the on-going importance of ensuring that the focus remains on the timely delivery of Olympic sites, as well as the good work that has been carried out in the field of the environment and sustainability. The Commission noted the importance of the continued cooperation with partners such as UNEP in this field.
Sochi 2014 is now in the operational planning phase of its preparations. The organizers showed a good understanding during the meetings of the task ahead and have developed some innovative tools to help them in their work. The Commission heard reports about services for the athletes, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, media, and the Paralympic Games amongst others. Updates were provided for Sochi’s transport plans, accommodation, activities and operations at the Olympic Park, and the spectator experience concept, which will all play an important part in ensuring a great Games experience for visitors in 2014. The Commission once again underlined that there is no time to lose with only 877 days remaining and the amount of work for the complex Olympic project.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said: “I am delighted that the IOC Coordination Commission have confirmed the strong progress made by Sochi 2014. There is still plenty to do but it is encouraging that they feel we are in good shape and that they have highlighted the work we are doing to engage people right across the country.”