The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be held by Russia in Sochi, a resort town on the Black Sea coast near the border between Russia and Georgia, and which is in the third largest region in Russia, Krasnodar. It was chosen to be the host city of the Games by the 119th International Olympic Committee in 2007, and has a population of 400,000 people. It will be the first time that the Olympic Winter Games will be hosted by the Russian Federation, as the last time the Olympics were held in Russia was 1980 with the Moscow Summer Olympic Games, which was hosted by the Soviet Union.
Due to controversy because of the summer resort town having a subtropical climate, the president of the organizing committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said that “it is important to keep in mind that we started our large-scale project from scratch, with the Games being the catalyst to turn Sochi from a regional, summer resort into the world-class, year-round business and tourist center it is becoming today.”
There will be two locations where the various competitions will take place. Sochi will be the coastal cluster for ice events like hockey, and the neighboring Krasnaya Polyana Mountains will be the mountain cluster for snow events like skiing. Travelling from the coastal cluster to the mountain cluster will only take 30 minutes, marking this Games to be one of the most compact ever.
45 nations will be entering competitors in the Games to take part in 98 events that spread across 15 different winter sports. The Opening Ceremony of the Games will take place on February 7th, while the Closing Ceremony will take place on February 23.
Among the various sports events, there is ski jumping, speed skating, snowboarding, short track speed skating, ice hockey, freestyle skiing, figure skating, curling, cross-country skiing, bob sleighing, and alpine skiing.
There are some that are not happy with the Games, however. Among the Sochi residents there has been growing anger as construction continues, and nationwide discontent is on the rise because the budget went past $50 billion, four times the original estimate. In fact, the amount of money spent on the Games set an Olympic record. Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader, accused that government corruption can make up for at least $25 billion of it and called out the Sochi Olympic Games for being “the scam of the century beginning from the choice of venue and finishing with the crooked way it was implemented.”
There is also growing concern for the possibility of a terrorist attack, as in July a Chechen rebel leader named Doku Umarov made a video that encouraged northern Caucasus Islamist militants to direct their attentions at the Games. A month ago in southern Russia there was a suicide bus bombing, which heightened security concerns for transportation checkpoints during the Olympics.