By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
May 22 - Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has led a high-level delegation of leading officials involved in the Sochi 2014 Olympics and Paralympics to Munich to visit the city's Olympic Park.
The delegation, which also included Sochi 2014 chief executive and President Dmitry Chernyshenko and the city's Mayor Anotaly Pakhomov, were visiting the Park, which hosted the 1972 Olympics, to discuss the opportunities for maximising the positive legacy from when they stage the Games.
The party, which were also accompanied by Deputy Governor of the Krasnodar Region Aleksandre Ivanov, were eager to see at first-hand a functioning example of a sustainable Olympic Park as part of their preparations for hosting Russia’s first ever Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Thomas Bach, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), held meetings with the Russian delegation before they went on a two-hour tour of the Olympic Park, including the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Hall, Olympic Swimming Hall and Olympic Hall, which remain in regular use nearly 40 years after the Bavarian city hosted the Games.
Bach, undoubtedly, will also have used the opportunity to quiz Sochi on their successful bid.
He is currently leading a bid from Munich for them to host the 2018 Olympics which, if successful, would make them the first city in the history of the Olympics to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Kozak said: "Our visit has been a valuable opportunity to learn from one of the best existing examples of sustainability.
"It is an incredible achievement for the Olympic Park to host over 300 successful community sport and entertainment events each year, nearly 40 years after the 1972 Olympic Games.
"The lessons we have learned today have made us even more confident that we can emulate and, hopefully, surpass this achievement with a lasting legacy for our own Olympic Park in Sochi."
After the presentations, the Sochi 2014 officials visited the famous Allianz Arena - home to Bayern Munich - to meet the stadium’s top management and discuss the successful experience of maintaining one of the best football arenas in the world.
This knowledge transfer is important as the Sochi 2014 Legacy Plan states that the central Olympic stadium, where opening and closing ceremonies will be held in 2014, will go on to become a world-class football arena, officials claimed.
The Sochi Olympic Park will be built along the Black Sea coast in the Imeretinskaya Valley, where the ice venues, the Olympic Village, International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre are being custom built for the Games.
Chernyshenko said: "The Sochi Olympic Park will not only rejuvenate the city of Sochi, but will also contribute significantly to the economic, cultural and environmental development of the entire Krasnodar Region.
"It will be a catalyst for new standards in ecology, planning and corporate governance.
"A sustainable Olympic Park will be the beginning of decades of legacy that Sochi 2014 will deliver."
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