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An Introduction to the Olympic Winter Games: Sochi 2014

Now that summer is drawing to a close we can look forward (or dread!) shorter nights, colder days and lots of layers to keep warm however one of the highlights of the forthcoming Winter is that it is Winter Olympics time again! Almost 4 years has already passed since the games of Vancouver in 2010 and this time it is Sochi, in Russia who are gearing up to put on their show.

Location

Not a well-known location, and certainly not a Ski destination on the amateur skiers holiday list, Sochi is located in Krasnodar Krai in Russia – adjacent to the Black Sea coast. It is Russia’s largest Resort City but is now gearing up to host the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games as well as a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2014.

Events

The Winter Games consists of 15 winter sport disciplines. This includes three skating sports (figure, speed and short track), six skiing sports (alpine, cross country, free style, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding), two bobsleigh sports (bobsleigh and skeleton) and four other sports including curling, biathlon, luge and hockey. Events will run from the 6th February to the 23rd February 2014.

New for 2014

The Sochi Games will be the largest to date with the addition of twelve new events including Women’s ski jumping, figures skating team event and ski half pipe.

Paralympic

The Paralympics will take place from 7th March to 16th March including the following sports Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Wheelchair curling, Sledge hockey and Snowboarding.

Controversy

Of course it is not all rosy in the Sochi garden. There are a number of concerns and controversies overshadowing the preparations for the Games most notably the protests over the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in Russia.

Despite this the British Olympic Association have confirmed that Team GB will go to the Games and that it will be up to individual athletes to compete or not.

The torch relay commences next month – on 7th October from Moscow and will arrive for the opening ceremony set for 7th February in Sochi.

Whatever happens hopefully there will be plenty to enthral – hopefully all of it of a sporting nature!

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