Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Russia

Putin: Sochi Games Will Leave 'Grandiose' Mark

  • An employee sprays grass seed in front of the Bolshoi Ice Dome at the Olympic Park in Sochi on February 4.
  • Construction materials remain in an unpaved area in front of the media village in Krasnaya Polyana on February 2.
  • Workers sit next to a pile of rubble in the media village.
  • Ongoing construction work in the Krasnaya Polyana neighborhood
  • Workers walk through an unfinished shopping mall on February 2.
  • Construction trucks are parked next to the Gorki media center.
  • Work is under way on an underground pipe in the village of Esto Sadok, part of greater Sochi.
  • A construction worker clears rubble in one of Sochi's media villages.
  • Plastic-covered furniture in the bar area of an unfinished hotel
  • Trash covers a sidewalk in the mountain media village in Esto Sadok.

Days before the Winter Olympics open on February 7, many facilities in the Russian host city of Sochi remain unfinished. Workers are under pressure to clear construction rubble, pave streets, and even hydroseed yellowing grass before the games begin.

By RFE/RL
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi will leave what he called "a grandiose imprint."

Speaking on February 4 at a welcoming ceremony for International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials in Sochi, Putin said the Games had already had a big impact on the development of the area, making it "more beautiful, more comfortable."

He said the Sochi region's environmental conditions had improved fourfold since the beginning of preparations for the Olympics.

IOC President Thomas Bach thanked Putin for what he called "an outstanding achievement" in organizing the Games, and praised Putin for his "personal involvement."

The Sochi Olympics, set to begin on February 7, are the most expensive Winter Games in history, with the total cost -- put initially at $12 billion -- reportedly jumping to more than $50 billion, amid allegations of widespread corruption and cronyism.

With reporting by Reuters

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