IOC Coordination Commission visits Sochi
With the opening of the Olympic Winter Games 2014 less than 500 days away, IOC officials including FIS President Gian Franco Kasper are visiting Sochi (RUS) this week. On 9th October, the IOC Coordination Commission began a three-day visit to the Black Sea resort to inspect progress in construction, transportation, accommodation and other key areas. The Commission will furthermore tour some of the mountain venues, including the Ski Jumping and Cross-Country sites.
The visit comes two days after Sochi Organisers announced the route of the Olympic torch relay, the longest in Winter Games history covering 65,000 kilometres. Starting on 8th October 2013, the Olympic flame will travel in the hands of 14,000 torchbearers, over 123 days, and through 2,900 towns and settlements.
Presented by Coca-Cola, Ingosstrakh Insurance Company and JSC Russian Railways, it will cover the 65,000 kilometers on foot, by car, train, plane, and even on a Russian "troika" - the traditional Russian sleigh pulled by horses or reindeer.
According to tradition, the Olympic flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece, from where it will be transported to Moscow on 7th October 2013 and start its journey across Russia to become the longest in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. On its route to Sochi, it will visit many important historic, cultural and picturesque areas across all 83 Russian regions, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, covering on average 535 kilometers per day.
In order to let as many Russians as possible experience the magic of the Olympic Torch Relay, the route has been designed to try and ensure that 90% of Russia's population will be within an hour of the Relay at some stage. Up to 130 million Russians are expected to see the Relay as it travels around the country.