Preparing for Winter Games is akin to building a small city, Sochi 2014 chief tells conference
Thursday, 02 August 2012
August 2 - Sochi 2014 chief executive and President Dmitry Chernyshenko told delegates here today at the Global Sports Industry Congress that preparing for the Winter Olympic and Paralympics is like building a small city.
Sochi is currently undertaking huge infrastructural changes, with a new train line connecting the two clusters of venues which will host the Games in 2014.
They are also building a new network of roads to alleviate traffic problems as well as increasing airport capacity, and linking the airport to the city centre and Olympic venues.
All stadiums used for sport will be ready by the end of 2012, and Chernyshenko often labels the Sochi 2014 work the biggest construction project in the world.
"The size of the construction project in Sochi is similar to building a new city of 150,000 residents from scratch," Chernyshenko said.
"So we are building the new city which is not necessarily directly connected or related to the infrastructure for the Games.
"We are using the opportunity, the deadlines are certain to speed up the development of all the region.
"As a Sochi native watching our city progress is so exciting, we are working so hard.
"It was a tired Soviet style resort but now it is the biggest construction project probably in the world with more than 55,000 workers working 24/7 to deliver the project around the clock.
"Everyone who comes to Sochi is truly impressed with the scale and the scope and speed of construction.
"It is changing dramatically every single day."
Chernyshenko also spoke of his pride at their achievements and the changes taking place.
He is particularly proud of the fact that they have broken an Olympic commercial record in raising $1.2 billion (£762 million/€877 million) from sponsors.
"Sochi's marketing revenue broke all the records in Olympic history," he explained.
"We hit $1.2 billion (£762 million/€877 million), that made us the most commercially successful Organising Committee in Olympic history.
"Forbes recently ranked Sochi as the number-one place to do business in Russia.
"Our Games is an excellent opportunity like those here in London, to inspire and engage the whole nation around the values of sustainability.
"Our job as host is to leave a Games legacy in millions of minds and so far we are successful."