Connect to share and comment

Olympics: Russia '85 percent done' with Sochi preparations

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Russia is 85 percent finished with preparations for the Olympic Games in Sochi next year, a top official said Wednesday as the International Olympic Committee concluded their latest check-up following this winter's test events.

"After evaluating the organisational and construction work that has been finished, I would say we have completed that journey by at least 85 percent," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Wednesday at a press conference in Sochi broadcast on a live webcast.

The IOC completed their latest evaluation of Olympic preparations ahead of Russia's hosting of the 2014 winter games in and around its southern Black Sea resort Sochi in the Krasnodar region.

Over the past two months, Sochi's venues hosted 42 test events in various winter sport disciplines, which were attended by 50,000 fans, said the IOC's Jean-Claude Killy who headed the mission to Sochi.

Athletes gave "mostly positive" reaction to these sports events, he said.

"The main thing is that the (Sochi) Organising Committee is learning its lessons from the test events," he said, adding that "much remains to be done" in the spheres of accommodation, logistics and transport.

Russia's Olympic preparations have been criticised for environmental damage, unfair treatment of migrant construction workers and local residents, and most of all for unprecedented costs of redeveloping Sochi.

The IOC however has always given top marks for preparation works through the years leading up to the games.

"I am sure that the games will be innovative and will go down in history," said Killy.

The cost of all infrastructure built in Sochi ahead of the Olympic Games -- including massive road, rail and other projects -- has been estimated by the government at 1.5 trillion rubles ($50 billion).

ma/sjw/ak

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130313/olympics-russia-85-percent-done-sochi-preparations