10 Sochi Facts

1. The Games take place between 7th and 23rd February, while the Paralympic Winter Games start on 7th March until 16th March, 2014.

2. There are two ‘zones’ for the games in Sochi – one on the coast of the Black Sea, and the other 50km away in the high Caucasus Mountains.

3. Sochi will be the warmest city ever to host the Winter Olympics. Temperatures on the Black Sea coast are expected to be about 10º C at the time of the games.

4. Athletes will compete for 98 sets of medals in 15 different winter sports disciplines, an increase from the 86 medal sets up for grabs at Vancouver 2010.

5. The gold medals presented in seven winter Olympic disciplines on 15th February 2014 will include fragments of the meteor that struck the Russian town of Chelyabinsk exactly one year ago to the day.

6. Sochi has built 11 new sports venues, a new international airport terminal, new local power plants, roads, bridges, railway lines and tunnels. They’re considered the most expensive Games in history, costing $50 billion to stage. By comparison, Canada spent less than $2 billion on the Vancouver games and London 2012 cost $19 billion.

7. The Sochi Olympic torch will travel by cars, planes, horses and reindeer sledges for 123 days over more than 40,000km with 90% of Russia’s population getting a chance to see the torch.

8. Three animal athletes and two fairy children are the official mascots of the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic games.

9. Sochi 14 isn’t without controversy, mainly of a political nature. The Russian government’s stance on homosexuality has called for the games to be boycotted by gay rights activists, while Russia’s human rights history has also raised questions over its suitability to host the Olympic movement.

10. The cheapest tickets for the opening ceremony are £116, while the most expensive are £967. The cheapest tickets for events are either £10 for the biathlon, ski jumping and snowboarding events for example, or £20 for ice hockey, figure skating, short track skating and curling competitions.

Sochi is two hours ahead of Morzine, and three hours ahead of GMT, which means popular events such as short track speed skating usually start at around 12noon (Morzine time), alpine skiing at 9am and freestyle skiing and snowboarding events are staggered throughout the day.

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