Sochi 2014: 10 Things That We’ve Learned About the Olympics so Far


The slopestyle venue at Rosa Khutor. Pretty impressive and definitely ready on time.

There’s an insane amount of logistics involved in an Olympics. From the security systems (which involve every bus being inspected with mirrors for limpet mines when in enters a venue) to the signage.

Not only that, but at Sochi 2014 rather than build on an existing resort they’ve created what are basically entirely new towns to host everyone, as well as roads and train tracks to ferry them around, and the security depots and bunkers (yes bunkers!) to protect them. Literally every building is brand spanking new.

The village of Rosa Khutor is so new the paving stones squeak underfoot.

Given the ambitious scale of the whole project (my sister who visited Sochi last year while it was all still under construction described the scene as looking like “Saruman’s orcs building their army”) it’s seriously impressive what they’ve managed to do. And about 95 per cent of it is actually finished. 

It’s just that every now and again you’ll come across a work gang paving a pathway. Or walk up to a building and realise that while the facade is fine, the inside is in pieces. And then there are the bits that even if they were completed, would still be random as hell. Like the “My Russia” area at the bottom of the gondola, which has pavilions representing all of country’s regions.

The Buriatiya pavilion in the “My Russia” area… random.

It looks like Disneyland after hours.

This looks like a theme park once all the people have gone home.

Only a bit shitter.

A yes, of course, a windmill!

With empty shops selling fur coats at ridiculous prices.

Colin Holden? Or Ghengis Khan?

And it’s still half built…

Whaddya mean half-finished? That digger is decorative!
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