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Sochi Hotels Still Incomplete, IOC Urges Response

Published: February 3, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • IOC head Thomas Bach arriving in Sochi Sunday.
    Photo: sochi2014.com

SOCHI — The IOC is urging Russian Olympic organizers to move quickly to resolve the issue of accommodations that are not ready for accredited media personnel in the mountains outside Sochi.

According to the Sochi organizing committee, only six of the nine media hotels in the mountain area are fully operational.

Some media have arrived and found they had no place to stay, and thousands more journalists are expected to arrive Monday.

The matter was examined Sunday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee executive board.

"There are still some issues to be solved as always just before the games," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "We are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days."

The Russian government has spent $51 billion on the Olympics in the hopes of turning the Black Sea summer resort into a year-round tourism destination.

While pre-games attention has focused on cost overruns, threats of terrorist attacks and the Russian law banning gay "propaganda" among minors, the hotel situation could become an embarrassment for local organizers.

Organizers estimate that up to 6,000 media will be arriving in Sochi on Monday. About 11,000 media overall are expected to be covering Russia's first Winter Games.

IOC vice president John Coates of Australia said he was expecting an update on the situation from Sochi organizers. "It's obviously very important," he said.

IOC press commission chairman Kevan Gosper took the issue to the executive board and was working with Gilbert Felli, the executive director of the Olympic Games, in discussions with Sochi organizers.

"We've alerted them that a lot of people are coming in and particularly of the difficulty still in the mountains," Gosper said. "They are aware it's a serious issue."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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