Venues for Winter Olympics Nearing Completion

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With just a year to go before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the venues in Sochi are nearing completion and confidence is high the city will be ready to host the Games.

The sound and sight of construction currently fills the air in Sochi, a Black Sea resort in southern Russia that has undergone somewhat of a transformation to be prepared to host such a big event.

Most of the venues have been built from scratch with some 1.5 trillion rubles ($50 billion) of public and private funds spent. As well as sporting venues, extensive roads upgrades and other infrastructure improvements have been made.

The latest cost figure is almost five times more than the original estimate, which was done shortly after Sochi was awarded the 2014 Games in July 2007.

With a number of venues complete, athletes from around the world have already been taking part in World Cup events that have doubled as test events for the venues.

"Today, it's all about our operations. Needless to say that practice makes perfect," Sochi 2014 organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko said.

"We have an intensive testing program in place to fine tune our operations.

"A total of 21 sports events are planned for this winter season. This is comparable to the size and the scale of the Games. A lot of them are happening simultaneously in both the coastal and mountains clusters.

"Overall, it will be an ultimate test for all of us, participants, as we all need to perform in unison. Where we want to be with a year to go, we are firmly on track. The venue are all on track to be competed on time and there has been hugely positive feedback from the most valuable participants, the athletes!"

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