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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, Dec. 17


Although the next trade event at Lenexpo convention center isn’t until January, the center is playing host to “Monet to Cezanne: The French Impressionists,” an art show that brings 19th-century art classics to life. Using state-of-the-art technology, the show takes the work of the French masters and adds another dimension to them using light and shadow.



Thursday, Dec. 18


Improve your English and knowledge of British culture during today’s FORM lesson at the British Book Center. These free English lessons with a native speaker elaborate not only on grammar particulars but cultural topics as well. Today’s event will discuss the BBC Two documentary “Victorian Farm Christmas.”



Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


TheZenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



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