Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 Olympics By The Numbers

Are you getting excited for the 2014 Winter Olympics? This time, it will be held in Sochi, Russia. Sochi won the right to host this Olympics in 2007 and has been planning ever since.

Sochi is a town of about 343,000 people located on the coast of Russia across the Black Sea from other countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. It is the only area of Russia that has what is termed a 'subtropical climate.' Because its usual mean (average) temperature in February is 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit, it is the warmest place ever to host the winter games. Sochi is considered the premier resort/vacation destination in Russia, with warm summers and mild winters.

                                         Sochi in the summer...

                             Palm trees in Russia: Who knew?

             Winter Olympics=not on the beach.

The Olympic torch will pass through 83 cities in Russia and will be carried by about 14,000 people... 
This is a map of Russia with all the stops the torch will make (white dots) 
...Taken to the depths of Lake Baikal---and then back out via a man with a jetpack:
Olympic flame carried underwater in world’s deepest lake
And has even been to outer space....
and it will finally arrive in Sochi for the opening on 2-7-2014.


Russia has invested about $10 billion to host these Olympics. They expect a 'surplus' of about $300 million once it is over.

Here is a map of the main venue:

And how it looks in reality:
Here is part of the Olympic Village, housing for the athletes:
 More than 2500 athletes will participate in the games.
The Bolshoy Ice Dome, where the hockey final will be played, holds 12,000 spectators:

Here is the Ice Dome from outside, at night:

The Ice Skating Palace, where Figure Skating, Speed Skating, and Short Track will be held, also holds 12,000 spectators:

The Fisht Olympic Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held, will hold 40,000 spectators:
There are five more venues for Skiing, Snowboarding, Bobsled, and Luge.

                              The Luge at Sochi up close 
Want to buy tickets for events at the Olympics? Here are the costs:

Opening Ceremonies         from 6,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles  (about $250 to $1300)
Figure Skating Gala Exhibition:    4,5000 to 23,000 rubles- 20,000 rubles is roughly $626.00

Womens or Mens Biathlon: 1500 to 6500 rubles (about $45- $250)

Note that as in the rest of Europe, dates are expressed with the day first, and then the month: February 7, 2014 is 7-2-2014 to them (7th of February 2014).

There are four Minnesotans on the Olympic mens' curling team, 2 Minnesotans on the womens' curling Team, and members of mens' and womens' hockey teams are from Minnesota. Two others are playing for Team Finland and one is playing for Team Austria. Emily Wiencke, from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, is a top woman snowboarder and is expected to make the Olympic team.
Here is a 100-ruble bill minted especially for the Sochi Olympics:
The medals for Gold, Silver, and Bronze look like this:
Closeup view: The medals depict the sun filtering through a 'patchwork quilt' of the different areas of Russia. About 1300 medals will be awarded during these games.
The last truly gold medal was awarded at the 1912 Olympics. Currently, here is the composition of the medals:
Gold              92.5% silver and 6% gold plate
Silver             92.5% silver
Bronze           'Real' bronze, which is an alloy of copper and tin
The value of a gold medal (in 2012) was $621. If it was actually solid gold, its value would be about $1208.00.
Medals are required to be 3 mm thick and 60 mm in diameter. Giving medals began with the 1904 Olympics; in the past people received trophies or certificates.
Did you know that countries sometimes award money to their medal-winning athletes? In Italy, if you win a gold medal, your country gives you a 'bonus' of $182,000. In the U.S., a bonus for gold is $25,000; for silver, $15,000; and for bronze, $10,000. These bonuses are paid by your own country's Olympic committee. Great Britain does not award bonuses to their athletes.
Here is the official Sochi website:

Sochi will have several mascots: The Polar Bear, the Leopard, and the Hare:
The Snowflake and Ray of Light will be mascots for the Paralympics. Read more about the Paralympics here:

            Welcome to Sochi! Have Fun at the Olympics!
        in Russian:  Добро пожаловать в Сочи. Удачи на Олимпиаде!
 In English letters: Dobro pozhalovat' v Sochi. Udachi na Olimpiade !

Motto of these Olympics:

                      "Hot.Cool.Yours." (Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)

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