2014 Winter Olympics

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For the Summer Youth Olympics held in Nanjing, China, see 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.
XXII Olympic Winter Games
File:2014 Winter Olympics logo.svg
Host city Sochi, Russia
Motto Hot. Cool. Yours.[1]
(Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)
Nations participating 88
Athletes participating 2,873
Events 98 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening ceremony 7 February
Closing ceremony 23 February
Officially opened by President Vladimir Putin
Athlete's Oath Ruslan Zakharov[2]
Judge's Oath Vyacheslav Vedenin, Jr [3]
Coach's Oath Anastasia Popkova [2]
Olympic Torch Vladislav Tretiak
Irina Rodnina
Stadium Fisht Olympic Stadium
Sochi from space

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially called the XXII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver) (Russian: XXII Олимпийские зимние игры, tr. XXII Olimpiyskiye zimniye igry) and commonly known as Sochi 2014, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 7 to February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics were organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

A total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines were held during the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—were held during the Games, including biathlon mixed relay, women's ski jumping, mixed-team figure skating, mixed-team luge, half-pipe skiing, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom. The events were held around two clusters of new venues: an Olympic Park constructed in Sochi's Imeretinsky Valley on the coast of the Black Sea, with Fisht Olympic Stadium, and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance, and snow events in the resort settlement of Krasnaya Polyana.

In preparation, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power, and transportation infrastructures of the region. While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the most expensive Olympics in history.

The lead-up to these Games was marked by several major controversies, including allegations that corruption among officials led to the aforementioned cost overruns, concerns for the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes and spectators due to the effects of the Russian LGBT propaganda law, protests by ethnic Circassian activists over the site of Sochi (where they believe a genocide took place in the 19th century), and threats by jihadist groups tied to the insurgency in the North Caucasus. However, following the closing ceremony, commentators evaluated the Games to have been overall successful.[4][5]

Bidding process

Fans celebrating Sochi's bid win

Sochi was elected on 4 July 2007 during the 119th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session held in Guatemala City, Guatemala, defeating bids from Salzburg, Austria; and Pyeongchang, South Korea.[6] This is the first time that the Russian Federation has hosted the Winter Olympics. The Soviet Union was the host of the 1980 Summer Olympics held in and around Moscow.

2014 host city election – ballot results
City Country (NOC) Round 1 Round 2
Sochi  Russia 34 51
Pyeongchang  South Korea 36 47
Salzburg  Austria 25


Funds approved
from 2006 until 2014
Year Billions of rubles[7]
2006 5
2007 16
2008 32
2009 27
2010 22
2011 27
2012 26
2013 22
2014 8

As of October 2013, the estimated combined cost of the 2014 Winter Olympics had topped US$51 billion.[8] This amount includes the 214 billion rubles (US$6.5 billion) cost for Olympic games themselves and cost of Sochi infrastructural projects (roads, railroads, power plants). This total, if borne out, is over four times the initial budget of $12 billion (compared to the $8 billion spent for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver), and made the Sochi games the most expensive Olympics in history, exceeding the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing,[9] which hosted 3 times as many events.[10]

According to Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko, partnership and commercial programs allowed the use of funds generated by Sochi 2014 for the 2009–10 development period, postponing the need for the state funds guaranteed by the Russian Government. He confirmed that the Organizing Committee had raised more than $500 million through marketing in the first five months of 2009.[11] The Russian Government provided nearly 327 billion rubles (about US$10 billion) for the total development, expansion and hosting of the Games.[12] 192 billion rubles (US$6 billion) coming from the federal budget and 7 billion rubles (US$218 million) from the Krasnodar Krai budget and from the Sochi budget. The organizers expected to have a surplus of US$300 million when the Games conclude.[13]

Financing from non-budget sources (including private investor funds) is distributed as follows:[14]

  • Tourist infrastructure: $2.6 billion
  • Olympic venues: $500 million
  • Transport infrastructure: $270 million
  • Power supply infrastructure: $100 million


Location of Sochi on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.

With an average February temperature of 8.3 °C (42.8 °F) and a humid subtropical climate, Sochi is the warmest city to host a Winter Olympic Games.[15] Sochi 2014 is the 12th straight Olympics to outlaw smoking; all Sochi venues, Olympic Park bars and restaurants and public areas were smoke-free during the Games.[16] It is also the first time that an Olympic Park has been built for hosting a winter games.

Sochi Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)

Panoramic view of the Sochi Olympic Park

The Sochi Olympic Park was built by the Black Sea coast in the Imeretinsky Valley, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from Russia's border with Abkhasia/Georgia.[17][18] The venues were clustered around a central water basin on which the Medals Plaza is built, allowing all indoor venues to be within walking distance. It also features "The Waters of the Olympic Park" (designed by California-based company WET), a choreographed fountain which served as the backdrop in the medals awards and the opening and closing ceremonies of the event.[19][20] The new venues include:[21]

A sketch of the layout of Sochi Olympic Park.

Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)

Chairlift in Krasnaya Polyana
2014 Winter Olympics Mountain Cluster Venues (interactive map)

Post-Olympic usage

A street circuit known as the Sochi Autodrom was constructed in and around Olympic Park. Its primary use is to host the Formula One Russian Grand Prix, which held its inaugural edition in October 2014.[22][23][24]


A Soyuz rocket with Olympic livery. Its flight to the International Space Station, TMA-11M, was part of Sochi's torch relay.

Logo and branding

The emblem of the 2014 Winter Olympics was unveiled in December 2009. While more elaborate designs with influence from Khokhloma were considered, organizers chose to use a more minimalistic and "futuristic" design instead, consisting only of typefaces with no drawn elements at all. The lettering was designed so that the "Sochi" and "2014" lettering would mirror each other vertically (particularly on the "hi" and "14" characters), "reflecting" the contrasts of Russia's landscape (such as Sochi itself, a meeting point between the Black Sea and the Western Caucasus).[25] Critics, including Russian bloggers, panned the logo for being too simplistic and lacking any real symbolism; Guo Chunning, designer of the 2008 Summer Olympics emblem Dancing Beijing, criticized it for its lack of detail, and believed it should have contained more elements that represented winter and Russia's national identity, aside from its blue color scheme and its use of .ru, the top-level domain of Russia.[25]

The Games' official slogan, Hot. Cool. Yours. (Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.), was unveiled on 25 September 2012, 500 days before the opening ceremony. Presenting the slogan, SOC president Dmitry Chernyshenko explained that it represented the "passion" and heated competition of the Games' athletes, the contrasting climate of Sochi, and a sense of inclusion and belonging.[26][27]


Postage stamps depicting the three Olympic mascots

For the first time in Olympic history, a public vote was held to decide the mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympics; the 10 finalists, along with the results, were unveiled during live specials on Channel One. On 26 February 2011, the official mascots were unveiled, consisting of a polar bear, a snow hare, and a snow leopard. The initial rounds consisted of online voting among submissions, while the final round involved text messaging.[28][29][30]

A satirical mascot known as Zoich (its name being an interpretation of the stylized "2014" lettering from the Games' emblem as a cyrillic word), a fuzzy blue frog with hypnotic multi-coloured rings (sharing the colors of the Olympic rings) on his eyeballs and the Imperial Crown ("to remind about statehood and spirituality"), proved popular in initial rounds of online voting, and became a local internet meme among Russians, with some comparing it to Futurama's "Hypnotoad". Despite its popularity, Zoich did not qualify for the final round of voting, with its creator, political cartoonist Egor Zhgun, claiming that organizers were refusing to respect public opinion. However, it was later revealed that Zoich was deliberately planted by organizers to help virally promote the online mascot vote.[30][31]

Video game

The official Olympic video game is the fourth game in the Mario & Sonic series, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It was released by Nintendo for the Wii U on 8 November 2013 in Europe, and 15 November 2013 in North America.[32] Others were Sochi 2014: Ski Slopestyle Challenge for Android operating system and Sochi 2014: Olympic Games Resort for online social network Facebook.[33]

Stamps and coins

In commemoration of the Games, Russian Post released a series of postage stamps depicting athletes, venues, and the mascots of the Games. The Bank of Russia also issued special coins and 100-ruble notes for the Games.[34]


Vladimir Putin with George W. Bush and Laura Bush examining the models of the Olympic facilities for Sochi, April 2008
100 Russian ruble banknote issued in 2013 by the Central Bank of Russia

The Olympic infrastructure was constructed according to a Federal Target Program (FTP). In June 2009, the Games' organizers reported they were one year ahead in building the main Olympic facilities as compared to recent Olympic Games.[35] In November 2011, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Sochi and concluded that the city had made significant progress since he last visited eighteen months earlier.[36]


According to the FTP, US$580 million would be spent on construction and modernization of telecommunications in the region. Avaya was named by the Sochi Organizing Committee as the official supplier of telecommunications equipment. Avaya provided the data network equipment, including switches, routers, security, telephones and contact-center systems. It provided engineers and technicians to design and test the systems, and worked with other technology partners to provide athletes, dignitaries and fans information about the Games.[37][38]

The 2014 Olympics is the first "fabric-enabled" Games using Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) technology.[39] The network is capable of handling up to 54,000 Gbit/s (54 Tbit/s) of traffic.[40]

Infrastructure built for the games included:

During the Games, the core networks of Rostelecom and Transtelekom were used.[41]

In January 2012, the newest equipment for the television coverage of the Games arrived in the port of Adler. Prepared specifically for the Games, a team of regional specialists and the latest technology provide a qualitatively new level of television production in the region.[42]

The fiber-optic channel links Sochi between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana. The 46-kilometre-long (29 mi) channel enables videoconferencing and news reporting from the Olympics.[43]

In November 2013, it was reported that the fiber-optic cable that was built by the Federal Communications Agency, Rossvyaz, had no operator. With Rostelecom and Megafon both refusing to operate it, the line was transferred to the ownership of the state enterprise Center for Monitoring & Development of Infocommunication Technologies (Russian: Центр МИР ИТ).[44]

Russian mobile phone operator Megafon expanded and improved Sochi's telecom infrastructure with over 700 new 2G/3G/4G cell towers. Sochi was the first Games to offer 4G connectivity at a speed of 10 MB/sec.

In January 2014, Rostelecom reported that it had connected the Olympic media center in Sochi to the Internet and organized channels of communication with the main media center of the Olympic Games in the coastal cluster and press center in Moscow. The media center was built at total cost of 17 million rubles.[45][46]

Power infrastructure

Night view of Sochi during the Olympics, taken by Expedition 38 members from the International Space Station

A five-year strategy for increasing the power supply of the Sochi region was presented by Russian energy experts during a seminar on 29 May 2009, held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, and attended by International Olympic Committee (IOC) experts and officials from the Russian Ministry of Regional Development, the Russian Ministry of Energy, the State Corporation Olimpstroy and the Krasnodar Krai administration.[47]

According to the strategy, the capacity of the regional energy network would increase by two and a half times by 2014, guaranteeing a stable power supply during and after the Games.

The power demand of Sochi in the end of May 2009 was 424 MW. The power demand of the Olympic infrastructure was expected to be about 340 MW.

  • Poselkovaya electrical substation became operational in early 2009.
  • Sochi thermal power station reconstructed (expected power output was 160 MW)
  • Laura and Rosa Khutor electrical substations were completed in November 2010
  • Mzymta electrical substation was completed in March 2011
  • Krasnopolyanskaya hydroelectric power station was completed in 2010
  • Adler CHP station design and construction was completed in 2012. Expected power output was 360 MW[48]
  • Bytkha substation, under construction with two transformers 25 MW each, includes dependable microprocessor-based protection

Earlier plans also include building combined cycle (steam and gas) power stations near the cities of Tuapse and Novorossiysk and construction of a cable-wire powerline, partially on the floor of the Black Sea.[49]


The transport infrastructure prepared to support the Olympics includes many roads, tunnels, bridges, interchanges, railroads and stations in and around Sochi. Among others, 8 flyovers, 102 bridges, tens of tunnels and a bypass route for heavy trucks — 367 km (228 miles) of roads were paved.[50]

The Sochi Light Metro is located between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana connecting the Olympic Park, Sochi International Airport, and the venues in Krasnaya Polyana.[51]

A "Lastochka" train, which serves the Tuapse–Sochi route

The existing 102 km (63-mile), Tuapse-to-Adler railroad was renovated to provide double track throughout, increasing capacity and enabling a reliable regional service to be provided and extending to the airport. In December 2009, Russian Railways ordered 38 Siemens Mobility Desiro trains for delivery in 2013 for use during the Olympics, with an option for a further 16 partly built in Russia.[52] Russian Railways established a high-speed Moscow-Adler link and a new railroad (more than 60 kilometres or 37 miles long) passing by the territory of Ukraine.[53]

At Sochi International Airport, a new terminal was built along a 3.5 km (2.2-mile) runway extension, overlapping the Mzymta River.[54] Backup airports were built in Gelendzhik, Mineralnye Vody and Krasnodar by 2009.[55]

At the Port of Sochi, a new offshore terminal 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the shore allows docking for cruise ships with capacities of 3,000 passengers.[56] The cargo terminal of the seaport would be moved from the centre of Sochi.

Roadways were detoured, some going around the construction site and others being cut off.[57]

In May 2009, Russian Railways started the construction of tunnel complex No. 1 (the final total is six) on the combined road (automobile and railway) from Adler to Alpica Service Mountain Resort in the Krasnaya Polyana region. The tunnel complex No. 1 is located near Akhshtyr in Adlersky City District, and includes:[58]

  • Escape tunnel, 2.25 kilometres (1.40 mi), completed in 2010
  • Road tunnel, 2,153 metres (7,064 ft), completed in 2013
  • One-track railway tunnel, 2,473 metres (8,114 ft), completed in 2013

Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin stated the road construction costed more than 200 billion rubles.[59]

In addition, Sochi's railway stations were renovated. These are Dagomys, Sochi, Matsesta, Khosta, Lazarevskaya, and Loo railway stations. In Adler, a new railway station was built while the original building was preserved, and in the Olympic park cluster, a new station was built from scratch, the Olympic Park railway station. Another new railway station was built in Estosadok, close to Krasnaya Polyana.

Other infrastructure

Sochi at night from space[60]

Funds were spent on the construction of hotels for 10,300 guests.[61] The first of the Olympic hotels, Zvezdny (Stellar), was rebuilt anew.[62] Significant funds were spent on the construction of an advanced sewage treatment system in Sochi, designed by Olimpstroy. The system meets BREF standards and employs top available technologies for environment protection, including tertiary treatment with microfiltration.[63]

Six post offices were opened at competition venues, two of them in the main media centre in Olympic Park and in the mountain village of Estosadok. In addition to standard services, customers had access to unique services including two new products, Fotomarka and Retropismo. Fotomarka presents an opportunity to get a stylized sheet of eight souvenir stamps with one's own photos, using the services of a photographer in the office. Retropismo service allows a customer to write with their own stylus or pen on antique paper with further letters, winding string and wax seal affixing. All the new sites and post offices in Sochi were opened during the Olympics until late night 7 days a week, and employees were trained to speak English.[64]

The Games

Torch relay

Torch relay in Moscow

On 29 September 2013, the Olympic torch was lit in Ancient Olympia, beginning a seven-day journey across Greece and on to Russia, then the torch relay started at Moscow on 7 October 2013 before passing 83 Russian cities and arriving at Sochi on the day of the opening ceremony, 7 February 2014.[65] It is the longest torch relay in Olympic history, a 40,000-mile route that passes through all regions of the country, from Kaliningrad in the west to Chukotka in the east.

The Olympic torch reached the North Pole for first time via a nuclear-powered icebreaker (50 Let Pobedy). The torch was also passed for the first time in space, though not lit for the duration of the flight for safety reasons, on flight Soyuz TMA-11M to the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft itself was adorned with Olympic-themed livery including the Games' emblem. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky waved the torch on a spacewalk outside ISS. The torch returned to Earth five days later on board Soyuz TMA-09M.[66][67] The torch also reached Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, and Siberia's Lake Baikal.[68]

Opening ceremony

Fireworks over Fisht Olympic Stadium following the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.
The Olympic Rings at Sochi Olympic Park

The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics was held on 7 February 2014 at Fisht Olympic Stadium, an indoor arena built specifically for the ceremonies. The ceremony featured scenes based around aspects of Russian history and arts, including ballet, classical music, the Russian Revolution, and the age of the Soviet Union. The opening scene of the ceremony featured a notable technical error, where one of five snowflakes, which were to expand to form the Olympic rings, malfunctioned and did not expand (a mishap mocked by the organizers at the closing ceremony where one of the roundrelay dance groups symbolizing the Olympic rings "failed" to expand). The torch was taken into the stadium by Maria Sharapova, who then passed it to Yelena Isinbayeva who, in turn, passed it to wrestler Aleksandr Karelin. Karelin then passed the torch to gymnast Alina Kabaeva. Figure skater Irina Rodnina took the torch and was met by former ice hockey goalkeeper Vladislav Tretiak, who exited the stadium to jointly light the Olympic cauldron located near the centre of Olympic Park.[69][70]

Participating National Olympic Committees

A record 88 nations qualified to compete,[71] which beat the previous record of 82 set at the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The number of athletes who qualified per country is listed below. Seven nations—Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, and Zimbabwe—made their Winter Olympics debut.[72]

Kristina Krone qualified to compete in her second consecutive games for Puerto Rico, but the island's Olympic Committee chose not to send her to compete again as they did in 2010.[73] Similarly, South Africa decided not to send alpine skier Sive Speelman to Sochi.[74] Algeria also did not enter its only qualified athlete, Mehdi-Selim Khelifi.[75]

The participating nations at the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi:
  Countries debuting in the Winter Olympics
  Not debuting, participant nations
Participating National Olympic Committees (number of qualifying athletes)
Countries that were participating in 2010, but did not in 2014. Countries that participated in 2014, but not 2010.

a India's athletes originally competed as Independent Olympic Participants and marched under the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony, as India was originally suspended in December 2012 over the election process of the Indian Olympic Association.[76] On 11 February, the Indian Olympic Association was reinstated and India's athletes were allowed the option to compete under their own flag from that time onward.[77]

National houses

During the Games some countries had a national house, a meeting place for supporters, athletes and other followers.[78] Houses can be either free for visitors to access or they can have limited access by invitation only.[79]

Nation Location Name Website
 Austria Mountain Cluster Austria Tirol House Official website
 Canada[80] Coastal Cluster (Next to Fisht Olympic Stadium) Canada House
 China[81] Zhemchuzhina hotel China House
 Czech Republic[82] Adler Czech House
 France[83] Gornaya Karusel (Mountain Cluster) Club France Official website
 Germany[84] Estosadok, Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster) German House Official website
 Italy[85] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) Italy House Official website
 Japan[79] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) Japan House
 Latvia[86] Radisson Hotel Latvian House
 Netherlands[87] Azimut Hotel Resort (near Coastal Cluster) Holland Heineken House Official website
 Russia[79] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) NOC Hospitality Houses of Russia
 Slovakia[88] Sochi railway station Slovak Point
 South Korea[89] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) Korea House
 Switzerland[79] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) House of Switzerland Official website
 United States[90] Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster) USA House Official website


98 events over 15 disciplines in 7 sports were included in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The three skating sports disciplines are figure skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. There were six skiing sport disciplines—alpine, cross-country skiing, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding. The two bobsleigh sports disciplines are bobsleigh and skeleton. The other four sports are biathlon, curling, ice hockey, and luge. A total of twelve new events are contested to make it the largest Winter Olympics to date.[91][92] Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each sports discipline.

On 6 April 2011, the IOC accepted a number of events that were submitted by their respective sports federations to be considered for inclusion into the official program of these Olympic Games.[93] The events include:

On 4 July 2011 the IOC announced that three events would be added to the program.[94] These events were officially declared by Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on 5 July 2011.[92]

Team alpine skiing was presented as a candidate for inclusion in the Olympic program but the Executive board of the IOC rejected this proposal. The International Ski Federation persisted with the nomination and this was considered.[95] There were reports of bandy possibly being added to the sports program,[96][97][98] but the IOC rejected this request. Subsequently, the international governing body, Federation of International Bandy, decided that Irkutsk and Shelekhov in Russia would host the 2014 Bandy World Championship just before the Olympics.

On 28 November 2006, the Executive Board of the IOC decided not to include the following sports in the review process of the program.[99]

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony was held on 23 February 2014 between 20:14 MSK (UTC+4) and 22:25 MSK (UTC+4) at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.[102] The ceremony was dedicated to Russian culture featuring world-renowned Russian stars like conductor and violinist Yuri Bashmet, conductor Valery Gergiev, pianist Denis Matsuev, singer Hibla Gerzmava and violinist Tatiana Samouil. These artists were joined by performers from the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theaters.


Sochi's medal design was unveiled in May 2013. The design is intended to resemble Sochi's landscape, with a semi-translucent section containing a "patchwork quilt" of diamonds representing mountains; the diamonds themselves contain designs that reflect Russia's regions.[103] Those who won gold medals on 15 February received special medals with fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteor, marking the one-year anniversary of the event where pieces of the cosmic body fell into the Chebarkul Lake in the Ural Mountains in central Russia.[104]

Medal table

The top ten listed NOCs by number of gold medals are listed below. The host nation, Russia, is highlighted.

To sort this table by nation, total medal count, or any other column, click on the Sort both.gif icon next to the column title.

  *   Host nation (Russia)

Rank NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Russia (RUS)* 13 11 9 33
2  Norway (NOR) 11 5 10 26
3  Canada (CAN) 10 10 5 25
4  United States (USA) 9 7 12 28
5  Netherlands (NED) 8 7 9 24
6  Germany (GER) 8 6 5 19
7  Switzerland (SUI) 6 3 2 11
8  Belarus (BLR) 5 0 1 6
9  Austria (AUT) 4 8 5 17
10  France (FRA) 4 4 7 15
11–26 Remaining NOCs 21 36 34 91
Total (26 NOCs) 99 97 99 295


In the following calendar each blue box represents one or more event competition(s), such as a qualification round, on that day. The yellow boxes represent medal-awarding finals for a sport with in each box the number of finals that were contested on that day.[105]

All dates are MSK (UTC+4)
OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Event finals EG Exhibition gala CC Closing ceremony
February 6th
Ceremonies OC CC
Alpine skiing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
Biathlon 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11
Bobsleigh 1 1 1 3
Cross-country skiing 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 12
Curling 1 1 2
Figure skating 1 1 1 1 1 EG 5
Freestyle skiing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 10
Ice hockey 1 1 2
Luge 1 1 1 1 4
Nordic combined 1 1 1 3
Short track speed skating 1 1 2 1 3 8
Skeleton 1 1 2
Ski jumping 1 1 1 1 4
Snowboarding 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 10
Speed skating 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 12
Total events 5 8 5 8 6 6 6 7 4 5 7 8 6 7 7 3 98
Cumulative total 5 13 18 26 32 38 44 51 55 60 67 75 81 88 95 98
February 6th



Security during both the Olympics and Paralympics were handled by over 40,000 law enforcement officials, including police and the Russian Armed Forces.[106][107] A Presidential Decree signed by President Vladimir Putin took effect on 7 January, requiring that any protests and demonstrations in Sochi and the surrounding area through 21 March (the end of the Paralympics) be approved by the Federal Security Service.[108] For the duration of the decree, travel restrictions were also in effect in and around Sochi: "controlled" zones, dubbed the "ring of steel" by the media, covered the Coastal and Mountain clusters which encompass all of the Games' venues and infrastructure, including transport hubs such as railway stations. To enter controlled areas, visitors were required to pass through security checkpoints with x-ray machines, metal detectors and explosive material scanners.[109] Several areas were designated as "forbidden", including Sochi National Park and the border with Abkhazia.[108][110] An unmanned aerial vehicle squadron, along with S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense rockets were used to protect Olympic airspace. Four gunboats were also deployed on the Black Sea to protect the coastline.[111]

A number of security organizations and forces began stationing in and around Sochi in January 2014; Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) was stationed in Sochi for the Games beginning on 7 January 2014.[112][113] A group of 10,000 Internal Troops of the Ministry of Interior also provided security services during the Games.[114] In mid-January, 1,500 Siberian Regional Command troops were stationed in a military town near Krasnaya Polyana.[115] A group of 400 cossacks in traditional uniforms were also present to accompany police patrols.[116][117] The 58th Army unit of the Russian Armed Forces, were defending the Georgia-Russia border.[118] The United States also supplied Navy ships and other assets for security purposes.[119]

Incidents and threats

Organizers received several threats prior to the Games. In a July 2013 video release, Chechen Islamist commander Dokka Umarov called for attacks on the Games, stating that the Games were being staged "on the bones of many, many Muslims killed ...and buried on our lands extending to the Black Sea."[120]

Threats were received from the group Vilayat Dagestan, which had claimed responsibility for the Volgograd bombings under the demands of Umarov, and a number of National Olympic Committees had also received threats via e-mail, threatening that terrorists would kidnap or "blow up" athletes during the Games. However, while the IOC did state that the letters "[contained] no threat and appears to be a random message from a member of the public", the U.S. ski and snowboarding teams hired a private security agency to provide additional protection during the Games.[118][121][122]


Broadcasting rights

In most regions, broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics were packaged together with broadcast rights for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but some broadcasters obtained rights to further games as well. Domestic broadcast rights were sold by Sportfive to a consortium of three Russian broadcasters; Channel One, VGTRK, and NTV Plus.[123]

In the United States, the 2014 Winter Olympics were the first in a new, US$4.38 billion contract with NBC, extending its broadcast rights to the Olympic Games through 2020.[124]

In Canada, after losing the 2010 and 2012 Games to Bell Media and Rogers Media, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation re-gained broadcast rights to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, gaining rights to the 2014 and 2016 Games. Bell and Rogers sub-licensed pay-TV rights for their TSN, Sportsnet and Réseau des sports networks, as well as TVA Group's TVA Sports.[125][126][127][128]

In Australia, after all three major commercial networks pulled out of bidding on rights to both the 2014 and 2016 Games due to cost concerns, the IOC awarded broadcast rights to just the 2014 Winter Olympics to Network Ten for A$20 million.[129][130][131]


Several broadcasters used the Games to trial the emerging ultra high definition television (UHDTV) standard. Both NTV Plus and Comcast filmed portions of the Games in 4K resolution; Comcast offered its content through smart TV apps, while NTV+ held public and cinema viewings of the content. NHK filmed portions of the Games in 8K resolution for public viewing. Olympic sponsor Panasonic filmed the opening ceremony in 4K.[132][133][134][135]

Concerns and controversies

The lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics were affected by numerous controversies and concerns. Russia received criticism for its policies surrounding the rights of LGBT people, including the denial of a proposed Pride House in Sochi for the Games, citing "public morality",[136] and the passing of a federal law in June 2013 which criminalized the distribution of material promoting "non-traditional sexual relationships" among minors.[137][138][139][140] Unauthorized pro-LGBT rallies occurred in Moscow and Saint Petersburg during the Games, and prominent Italian activist and former member of parliament Vladimir Luxuria (who was the first ever openly transgender MP in Europe) was detained in Sochi after wearing a rainbow-colored outfit, chanting slogans, and holding a banner reading "Gay is OK" in Russian whilst entering an Olympic venue. Sports Illustrated reported that an anti-gay demonstration occurred in Sochi during the games, seemingly defying a ban on unauthorized protests during the Games.[108][141][142][143] On 25 September 2014, seven months following the Games, the IOC instituted a new clause in the host city contract for the 2022 Winter Olympics, explicitly prohibiting discrimination.[144]

The Games also became notable for their severe cost overruns, which made them the most expensive Winter Olympics in history; Russian politician Boris Nemtsov cited allegations of corruption among government officials as a cause of the overruns, concluding that the Games were "nothing but a monstrous scam."[145] Allison Stewart of the Saïd Business School at Oxford, noted that relations between the government and construction companies were closer in Sochi than at other games.[146] In a press conference, IOC president Thomas Bach defended the high costs of the Games, stating that the costs were in line with previous Olympics, but that the additional costs were a "long-term investment" into making Sochi a year-round destination.[147] The quality and availability of accommodations in Sochi were affected by missed contractor deadlines and inclement weather. On the final weekend before the start of the Games, only six of the nine hotels for accredited members of the media had been completed. In the other three, journalists reported various issues, including rooms that were unclean, no working water, discoloured tap water, and missing furniture or amenities. Executive Director Gilbert Felli stated that the rooms would be finished by 5 February, while Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak noted that the media hotels just needed a "final cleaning".[109][148][149][150][151]

Turkish Circassians commemorate the banishment of the Circassians from Russia in Taksim, İstanbul

Some Circassian organizations objected to the Games being held on land their ancestors held until 1864,[152][153] when most of them were vanquished at the end of the Russian-Circassian War (1763–1864), in what they consider to be ethnic cleansing or genocide.[154][155] They demanded the Games be cancelled or moved unless Russia apologized for their actions.[156] Some Circassian groups accepted the Olympics, and argued that symbols of Circassian history and culture should have been featured, as Australia, the United States and Canada did for their indigenous cultures in 2000, 2002, and 2010 respectively.[157] The Games' use of Krasnaya Polyana ("Red Hill" or "Red Glade") as a site for skiing and snowboarding events was also considered sensitive, as it was named for a group of Circassians who were defeated in a bloody battle with Russians while attempting to return home over it in 1864.[158][159]

Media coverage of the Games was also criticized for its political slant; some journalists and IOC officials claimed that coverage by Western media was overly critical, biased, and politicized,[160] influenced by schadenfreude and existing anti-Russian sentiment.[161][162] The mood greatly improved as the Games progressed.[163][164] With a few notable exceptions, NBC largely avoided broadcasting negative material, although several segments deemed "overly friendly to Russia" were harshly criticized by some U.S. conservatives.[165] Following the closing ceremony, Mark Sappenfield of The Christian Science Monitor concluded that by many measures the Olympics were "very successful." Sappenfield singled out the organization as particularly good, writing that "Athletes and Olympic officials were nearly unanimous: This was an extraordinarily well run Olympics."[4] Thomas Bach also voiced support, stating "We saw excellent Games and what counts most is the opinions of the athletes and they were enormously satisfied...You have to ask all those who criticised whether they change their opinions now."[5]

Notes and references

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External links

Preceded by
Winter Olympics

XXII Olympic Winter Games (2014)
Succeeded by