By Duncan Mackay in Sochi
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

June 6 - Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today visited the Olympic Park here on the eve of the official Debriefing of the Vancouver 2010 Games that will discuss what lessons Sochi can learn from Canada.

Rogge was joined by a high-level delegation that also included Russian Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Kozak and Alexander Zhukov, who was recently voted as the new President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Others on the trip inspecting facilities in the Black Sea resort included Jean-Claude Killy, the chairman of the IOC's Coordination Commission, Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, and Taimuraz Bolloev, the President of S.C Olympstroy, the company overseeing the management of designing, construction, renovation and putting into operation the venues that will be used for the Games.

During this visit, Rogge observed the progress that has been made in constructing the Bolshoi Ice Palace, a 12,000 multi-purpose arena, which is due to host the ice hockey during the Olympics, which is expected to be one of the highlights of the Games.

He was also shown the design of the Maly Ice Palace, a smaller venue also due to host ice hockey, as construction of this venue had begun earlier in the day.
At the Sochi Olympic Skating Centre - another venue in the Coastal Cluster - Rogge was joined by Kozak and Chernyshenko to tighten a symbolic screw into the framework of the stadium.

This facility is one of the three movable Sochi 2014 venues, which after Games will be transported to another part of Russia as part of Sochi 2014's sporting legacy for the whole country.

Rogge will tomorrow open a plenary session of the Debriefing in Krasnaya Polyana on advancing the organisation and staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He is also to hold a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the Russian Prime Minister's Riviera residence here.

Sochi have paid for 45 officials, including chief executive John Furlong, to fly to Russia to share their expertise and what lessons they learned from staging the Olympics and Paralympics earlier this year.

Furlong (pictured with Rogge) said: "Organising the Games is a rare experience affording the opportunity move through the complete life-cycle of a large and complex organisation operating on the world stage in just six, short action-packed years.

"This week we will be sharing some of our landmark achievements and many of the lessons we learned in planning and hosting the 2010 Winter Games.

"With the benefit of some time and rest, we will discuss our performance as objectively as possible with a view to what we would do differently next time.

"Our hope is that this information will spark valuable discussions that the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and lead to recommendations that benefit all future Games."

The international forum will also be attended by IOC and International Paralympic Committee members and representatives of London 2012 and Rio 2016 along with representatives from Annecy, Munich and Pyeongchang, who are all bidding to host the 2018 Winter Games.

They will hear investments in Olympic facilities and the development of the Sochi resort are expected to reach 950 billion rubles (£21 billion/$30 billion), according Deputy Regional Development Minister Yuri Reilyan.

He said: "The aggregate amount of investments in Olympic Sochi is unprecedented.

"It is comparable with 20 annual budgets of the resort.

"We must use this occasion at best."

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