The Winter Olympics 2014, destined for Sochi, Russia since 2007, are on the horizon now that the London Olympics have come to a close. Located on the Black Sea, Sochi offers a striking contrast of palm tree-lined streets and snow-capped mountains off in the distance. The Russian resort city is a questionable location for the winter games, specifically because of its more temperate weather conditions, possible terrorist attacks and lack of pre-existing venues to house participants and hold events. But amidst the doubts, Russian President Vladimir Putin assures all preparation is “on time and on budget”—welcoming news for the International Olympic Committee.
Deemed “Europe’s largest construction project,” the preparation for the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi is rumored to cost anywhere between $18 billion and $24.5 billion for Russian organizers. A majority of that budget is going toward building two main venue projects, a sea-level park containing skating venues and a 40,000-seat Olympic stadium and a necessary mountain park. Transportation construction, also a main component to the alarmingly high budget, for a 30-mile highway that runs between the two parks and a high speed train is also underway to make the area more accessible for Winter Olympic 2014 participants. The IOC has pushed for safety and green technology to be taken seriously during the construction. Though rumored to be behind schedule and already riddled with construction company corruption, the IOC has had nothing but praise for Russia as the country faces the challenges in planning Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.
As the first major global event since the fall of the U.S.S.R., the Sochi Olympics bring hope in reaffirming Russia as a contender for such events. The project in Sochi is being called President Putin’s baby as he promises to prove skeptics wrong and provide international prestige for Olympiads venturing to Sochi in two years.