Sochi Games work in full swing as torch ceremony looms

SOCHI, Russia Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:07pm IST

Two technicians stand on the ice as they work on the score clock at the Iceberg Skating Palace, as construction continues at the Olympic Park for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Adler August 20, 2013. The arena will be used for figure skating and short track speed skating when the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opens next February. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

Two technicians stand on the ice as they work on the score clock at the Iceberg Skating Palace, as construction continues at the Olympic Park for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Adler August 20, 2013. The arena will be used for figure skating and short track speed skating when the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opens next February.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Preparations in Russia's Black Sea resort are in full swing less than six months before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics, with the hosts bracing for the torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia, Greece, next month.

Organisers are rushing to complete the venues for the first Winter Games to be held in Russia, a traditional winter sports powerhouse, before the symbolic start of the Games run-up with the torch lighting at the site of the ancient Olympic Games in Greece on September 29.

With Russia in the eye of a media storm over its recently adopted anti-gay propaganda law that has triggered protests across many countries, work at the Fisht Olympic stadium and the other Games venues continues unabated as workers put the finishing touches to the stadiums and shape the surrounding areas.

"The preparations are going well and everybody is working incredibly hard to make sure that we reach all of our targets," Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said just days ago. "We have received brilliant feedback at every stage.

"The test competitions have passed successfully, which was proved by positive feedback," he added.

Organisers tested the Olympic venues during the 2012-2013 winter season, with Sochi hosting major events in all 15 winter disciplines, with more than 3,000 athletes taking part.

The Games are divided into two clusters with the city's Sochi Olympic park and the mountain cluster of biathlon, Alpine skiing and sliding venues some 40 kilometres away.

Sochi will see the Olympic flame land in Russia on October 7 before kicking off what is expected to be the longest torch relay for any Winter Olympics.

The Olympic flame will cover some 65,000 kilometres across Russia and will visit more than 2,900 towns and settlements, carried by more than 14,000 bearers.

The Games will open on February 7 and run to February 23. (Writing by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Ossian Shine)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SOCCER

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Santos joins FC Goa

Santos joins FC Goa

Former Brazil defender Santos joins Pires at FC Goa.  Full Article 

Euro Qualifiers

Euro Qualifiers

Norway call up 15-year-old Odegaard for Euro qualifiers.  Full Article 

Johnson Recalls

Johnson Recalls

Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson still remembers English taunts.  Full Article 

Philander in Squad

Philander in Squad

South Africa name Vernon Philander in ODI tour squad.  Full Article 

Asian Games

Asian Games

Gulf states strike athletics gold, North stun South.  Full Article | Related Story 

New Ambassador

New Ambassador

Li named ambassador for WTA Finals in Singapore.  Full Article 

Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup

Ruthless Europe retain iron grip on Ryder Cup.  Full Article 

Title Contenders

Title Contenders

Hazard warning for Chelsea's Champions League rivals.  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Holders Real Madrid forewarned by Liverpool's struggle.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage