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Sochi By The Numbers: The Mind-Boggling Numbers Behind The 2014 Winter Olympics

Workers prepare a building of the Olympic Main Store at the Olympic Park in Sochi on January 27, less than two weeks before the Opening Ceremony.
How much does an Olympic medal weigh and how long does one take to produce? How many security personnel will be on the streets of Sochi during the games? And how many times could you have built the world's tallest skyscraper for the cost of the 2014 Olympic Games? RFE/RL's Tom Balmforth knows the answer.

The number of times Russia blasted the Olympic torch into space. Two Russian cosmonauts took the torch outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk on November 9. No Olympic host had ever attempted this cosmic stunt during the torch relay that precedes the games. The torch, however, was not lit as combustion is impossible in open space and it was considered too dangerous to light inside the space station.

The number of deadly bombings in Volgograd in the final three months of 2013. The attacks on a historic city in the Russian heartland signaled North Caucasus Islamist militants are capable of striking beyond Russia’s restive southern fringes. The bombings prompted widespread security concerns over Sochi.

The number of hours it takes on average to manufacture one of the Olympic medals that will be awarded in Sochi.

The number of Winter Olympic Games held since they were established at Chamonix, France in 1924. The Sochi games will be the 22nd Winter Olympiad and Russia’s first as host.

The number of times you could have built the tallest building in the world – Dubai’s Burj Khalifa -- for the estimated $51 billion price tag of the Sochi Olympics.

The number of nations sending athletes.

The length in kilometers of Sochi, a long municipality nestled between the Black Sea coast and snowcapped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. It is one of the longest cities in Europe.

The weight, in grams, of the lightest Olympic or Paralympic medal to be awarded in Sochi.

The weight, in grams, of the heaviest Olympic or Paralympic medal that will be awarded in Sochi.

The total number of casualties from armed conflict in the neighboring North Caucasus region in 2013, according to statistics compiled by the Caucasian Knot news site. The figure includes civilians, militants, and law-enforcement officers. Among these, there were 528 fatalities.

The number of medals to be awarded in Sochi. This, according to the official Sochi 2014 website, is a record high. The medals, which are made from precious alloys from Russia, are not only the most "numerous" but also the most "innovative" and "diverse," according to the site. "Sochi 2014 awards are not just medals, but real work of art," the website claims.

The year Moscow hosted the Summer Olympic Games. The 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were overshadowed by a 65-country boycott led by the United States to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979.

The number of artistic performers set to attend the opening ceremony on February 7. They will perform on three stages. According to the Sochi 2014 website, "the ceremonies will be the most impressive and memorable events of the Olympic Games."

The number of athletes competing in the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games.

The record-breaking distance in kilometers traveled by the Olympic torch on its way to Sochi. The flame will have traversed all Russia’s 83 regions and republics. It will have been carried by 14,000 torchbearers -- including a 101-year-old table-tennis player and a gaggle of Siberian ice divers -- during its relay from Red Square to the Black Sea resort, where it arrives on February 7.

A figure "close to" the number of security personnel under control of the Federal Security Services (FSB) in Sochi, according to the Stratfor global intelligence company. Security is a major concern in Sochi, which is close to Russia's restive North Caucasus region. Islamic militants have vowed to disrupt the games. With close to 100,000 security personnel, Sochi will have nearly four times the number deployed for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Stratfor estimates. Russia’s far-reaching security measures -- which include massive surveillance projects -- have been dubbed "unprecedented" in modern Olympic history. Some complain that Sochi resembles a "fortress."

The population of Sochi. According to Stratfor’s estimate, this means there will be one law-enforcement officer for every 3.43 local residents.

8.7 billion
The cost in U.S. dollars of the new joint road and railroad linking Sochi’s Adler district with the Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster. Russian "Esquire" magazine calculated that for that price it could have been paved with a nine-centimeter layer of shredded Louis Vuitton handbags or foie gras to a depth of 22 centimeters. The project was undertaken by Russian Railways, which is headed by Vladimir Yakunin, a long-time associate of President Vladimir Putin.

12 billion
The amount in U.S. dollars that Putin pledged to spend on preparations for the Olympics during his bid speech to the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala in 2007. Sochi was selected over South Korea’s Pyeongchang and Austria’s Salzburg. Putin spoke in English and French at the ceremony. In Sochi, some residents refer to the Olympics as "Olympiada Vladimirovna" -- Vladimir’s Olympiad.

25 billion-30 billion
The amount, in U.S. dollars, that opposition politician Boris Nemtsov claims has been lost to theft during the preparations for the Sochi Olympics. For comparison, that's four times the annual GDP of Tajikistan. An International Olympic Committee (IOC) member last week alleged that one-third of investment had been pinched -- or about $18 billion. Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin later said the IOC member he should be charged with slander unless he can provide evidence.

51 billion
The highest estimate, in U.S. dollars, of the cost of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The figure includes infrastructure related to the games. The estimate was made in February 2013 by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who has been in charge of Olympic preparations.

The daily "Vedomosti," meanwhile, projected a cost of 1.5 trillion rubles ($45 billion dollars). If accurate, either figure would make this year's Olympics the most expensive on record. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing cost an estimated $40 billion. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver cost approximately $6 billion.

Kozak has since come out with a revised estimate of 214 billion rubles ($6.3 billion). He claimed that other infrastructure construction would have been needed even if Sochi hadn't hosted the Olympics. Kozak claimed that only 99 billion rubles came from the state budget.