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Although it was a little-known city outside Russia, since Soviet time Sochi has enjoyed the popularity as Russia's quintessential seaside tourist town. It also has epitomized everything that the recreational resort for the working class should be. Due to its Mediterranean climate and favourable location on the shore of The Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains, this “heart of the Soviet Riviera” that self-consciously marketing itself as the `summer capital' (летняя столица) of the Russian Federation, is known to Russians almost exclusively as a summer destination. Plenty of people are still visiting their favorite vacation spot where palm-fringed beaches framed by snow-capped mountains.

Today, while most of the attention focuses on the preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the controversy over the idea of holding the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi stirred up 5 years ago did not subside. Critics emphasize that this megaproject with all major investors are either owned or co-owned by the state or receive state-backed funding does not seem to be a stimulus for local economic development and global competitiveness but rather a contribution to Russia’s prestige. Among major concerns are the following: environmental damage during, after, and in preparation for Winter Olympics, overruns of construction cost, security concerns as Sochi is located close to the unsafe Caucasian regions of Russia, and unsustainable usage of top-grade expensive facilities.

Listen to the reportage focused on the construction of Olympic objects at Sochi’s costal cluster progressing at “breakneck speed.” While listening to and watching the episode try to jot down the following information:

How many sports objects are constructed at the Costal Cluster? Name them. How many visitors and fans can each object hold? What are the projects completion dates? Which stadium will be used by the Russian national team and as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Where will the Main Olympic Village and the Main Press Centre be located?

Here are some interesting facts about XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi:

Venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics are split in to two main areas – the Imeretinskaya Valley referred to as the “coastal cluster” and area surrounded by mountains and referred to as the “mountain cluster.”

The natural subgrade of access roads in the Imeretinskaya Valley was highly variable, consisting of low strength soil, decomposed peat, silts and very soft clay with peat interlayers. Thus Road Foundation Stabilisation project has been developed and permanent asphalt-surfaced roads to gain access to the Olympic venues were built at the Imeretinskaya Valley.

206 objects are planned to construct in Sochi with only 30 constructions directly related to the events of the Games. Other constructions will be related to the city infrastructure and local tourism, turning the city into “garden city” (город-сад) – the metaphor referring to futurist Mayakovsky.

To accomplish the construction in time for the Games, there are more than 50,000 construction workers are employed on the various projects.

The Games will cover 18 days.

A total of 5,500 athletes and team members from 80 countries will come to Sochi in February 2014.

Snowboarding and Freestyle competitions will take place at a ski resort located to the West of the Rosa Khutor (Rose Farm) plateau with its highest point of track is 2320 meters above sea level.

The organizers of these Games will make use of artificial snow; therefore the construction of water storage reservoirs for artificial snow production is ongoing project in Sochi.

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