Archive

No. 2, 2009

Igor Vladimirov

SOCHIS OLYMPIC HOPES


Russia has actively launched preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

In July 2007, at a session of the International Olympic Committee, the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics was determined. The winner was the Russian resort of Sochi, which defeated such serious contenders as the Austrian town of Salzburg and Pyeongchang in South Korea. At the same time, LUKOIL provided financial assistance to the Sochi-2014 Application Committee Fund for organizing the work to promote Sochi as a contender to host the 22nd Winter Olympics in 2014. Large-scale construction work on Sochi Olympic facilities has been launched in the spring of 2009.

Return of the Torch of Prometheus

The first time ever Winter Olympics were held on January 25, 1924. At that time, 294 athletes from 16 countries of Europe and America took part in the Games in Chamonix.

Russia first participated in the Winter Olympics only in 1956, but its debut, at the Games in the Italian town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, was truly outstanding. The tournament was embellished by the performance of the Soviet skiers, led by Pavel Kolchin and Lyubov Baranova - the team won a gold, two silver and four bronze medals. The hockey team of the USSR, with its legendary captain Vsevolod Bobrov, also distinguished itself. By beating Canada 2:0 in the last match, it wrote one of the outstanding pages in the history of Russian ice hockey.

By taking part in all the sports apart from bobsleigh and figure skating, the team won outright in the unofficial team rankings. In all, the Russian sportsmen have won about 300 medals at the last twelve Winter Olympics.

The next "White" Olympics will be held in Vancouver in 2010 and in 2014, the 22nd Winter Olympics will be hosted by Sochi. It is forecast that over 2,500 sportsmen in more than 90 disciplines will take part in the Russian Games. The fact that, over the last 25 years, Russia has hosted more than 100 international championships and tournaments testifies that the country is ready to hold these important Games.

The holding of the 2014 Winter Olympics will create an international winter sports center where sportsmen from Russia and neighboring countries with an aggregate population of over 200 million can train. The Games will also be an excellent stimulus to the further social and economic development of Russia.

In the surroundings of Sochi stands the stone to which, according to legend, Prometheus, who gave people fire, was chained. Symbolically, in 2014 this is where the Olympic flame will be ignited. In order that the "Sochi fairytale" might become reality, however, the Games organizers have a lot of work ahead of them.

Sunny city on the shores of the Black Sea

Sochi is Russia's biggest resort. It stretches 147 km along the shore of the Black Sea. Officially, Sochi is the name only of the central part of the resort, but in reality it includes the districts of Lazarevskoye, Khosta and Adler, too.

The city of Sochi stretches along the foothills of the Caucasus on the shores of the Black Sea. It is situated on the same latitude as Nice and Toronto. The nature surrounding Sochi is so wonderful that the resort is often called the Russian Riviera. The mild and moderate climate in this region is similar to a Mediterranean one. The average temperature in winter is between +8 and +10° along the coast and, in the summer, the thermometer rarely rises above +30°.

The 2014 Games can be held in amazing natural conditions - only here does the picturesque seashore meet the snowy slopes, creating ideal conditions for winter sports.

The plan for Sochi-2014 includes construction of 11 new sports facilities, grouped in two compact complexes. All the Olympic facilities will be located at a distance of no more than an hour's travel from each other. Their construction will be completed in 2013.

The Coastal Complex for holding ice competitions will be situated in the Imeretinskaya Valley, along the shore of the Black Sea. The Olympic Park here will accommodate: a stadium, two ice rinks for hockey, a speed-skating centre, an ice sports palace, a curling arena, two training rinks, an area for award ceremonies and an open ice rink.

The Mountain Complex will be built in Krasnaya Polyana. The average distance between the coastal sports facilities and the Olympic Village will be 6 km and between the mountain sports facilities and the additional Olympic Village, 4 km. The complexes will be 48 km from each other. During construction, account will, of course, be taken of the strictest international ecological standards. Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana neighbor on the State Caucasian Biosphere Reserve and are recognized as world natural heritage sites by UNESCO. The requirements on environmental protection were fundamental to drawing up the concept for Sochi-2014.

The mountainous part of Sochi, specifically Krasnaya Polyana, is situated only 40 km from the Black Sea coast. The top of the Caucasian range around Sochi is about 2,000 m above sea level. Here stands Europe's highest mountain - Elbrus (5,642 m). The snow cover on the slopes of Krasnaya Polyana has unique features owing to the favorable local microclimate. The mountains retain moderate air masses and constitute a natural barrier to the sea wind, thereby ensuring ideal snow quality for many winter sports.

The Russian oil and gas complex's contribution to sport

The improved transport infrastructure of Sochi will include a special Olympic highway, Olympic roads and a new tunnel connecting the coast with Krasnaya Polyana. A new air passenger terminal will be built and commissioned to serve up to 4 million passengers a year; the runway will be reconstructed allowing Sochi to receive all types of aircraft. At the Sochi seaport, at 1.5 km from the shore, a remote terminal is to be built which will allow cruise ships with 3,000 passengers to berth.

Analysts forecast that the Olympics in Sochi will host one and half times as many guests as the Turin Games did in 2006. The transport flows and number of people holidaying in the south of the country are growing year by year. Today, over 3 million tourists (mainly Russians) spend their summer holidays in Sochi. The estimated inflow of tourists into the Krasnodar Territory in 2014 will reach 7 million, over half of whom will visit Sochi.

LUKOIL, in conjunction with Rosneft holding the leading position on the fuel market in the south of Russia, will supply the organizers and guests of the 2014 Olympics with petroleum products. Back in 2005, the Company launched construction of the Sochi oil tank farm, which immediately became a strategic partner of the city in supplying EURO-3 and EURO-4 standard petroleum products to enterprises and health resorts all along the coast.

In Krasnaya Polyana itself, the Company is to open a new generation gasoline filling station, powered by solar power. In addition, through its affiliate company YuGK TGK-8, LUKOIL intends to construct an hydroelectric power station in the Krasnaya Polyana area, on the River Mzymta, 6 km from the existing power station. The plan is to complete construction of Krasnopolyanskaya HPP-2, with a capacity of 26.5-29 MW, as early as 2011.

LUKOIL and the Olympic movement

Support for national Olympic teams and sportsmen occupies an important place among the many sponsorship activities of LUKOIL. For many years now, the Company has been an official partner of the Olympic Committee of Russia.

The first agreement with the Olympic Committee was signed back in 2001, when the Company became its official partner. As such, LUKOIL provides substantial financial assistance to Russian Olympic Games contenders, allocating 0.5% of its sales revenues from products bearing the Olympic symbols to the Committee. In 2003, for instance, LUKOIL remitted $1 million to it.

In 2005, LUKOIL adopted a resolution to assist the Foundation for Assistance to Russian Olympic Sportsmen and became one of its founders. The Foundation renders assistance to individual sportsmen on the Russian Olympic sports teams, allowing future champions to train specifically for the Olympic Games and achieve high results. LUKOIL took an active part in the training of Russia's sportsmen for both the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the Games in 2008 in Beijing.

In addition, in 2007, the Company provided financial support to the Sochi-2014 Application Committee Fund for organizing the work to promote Sochi as a candidate for hosting the 22nd Winter Olympics in 2014.

For 15 years already, LUKOIL has been rendering substantial assistance to Russia's women's ski team, who are among the world leaders in this sport. Since 2006, the Company has been the general sponsor of the Ski Race Federation of Russia and the women's and men's national teams. Largely thanks to help from LUKOIL, Russian skiers performed successfully at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Salt Lake City and Turin. Russian fans lay great hopes in their skiers' performance in Vancouver in 2010, which will be the dress rehearsal for Russian sport before the 2014 Games in Sochi.




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Oil of Russia, No. 2, 2009
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