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Sochi’s Olympic career

03.02.2014 18:06

Anton Semenov

The opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi is in sight, the entire infrastructure is, of course, ready and now, as they say, "the last dust particles are blown away". Meanwhile, high-ranking Russian officials are already summarizing the "Olympic construction".

Thus, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Kozak told the nation that "the Games in Sochi cost the Russian budget 214 billion rubles" ($6.4 billion). He also stressed that during inspections there were found no cases of misapplication of funds, but did not deny the mistakes introduced in the construction and design, resulting in extra costs incurred.

It ought to be noted that the amount announced by the official, is only half made up of public investment, the rest are extrabudgetary funds.

If you compare the amount of our costs of the upcoming Olympic Games with what the British had to invest in London 2012 Olympics, it becomes clear that the Games in Sochi are not the most expensive: The London Olympics cost the British budget $14.4 billion. And another example: Beijing Olympic Games cost some $40 billion. In this case, we can not forget that London and Beijing - capital centers with a developed business, social and cultural infrastructure - had more opportunities for the conduct of the largest sporting event. While Sochi, a coastal resort town, initially did not have the necessary sports facilities, hotels, entertainment centers, necessary for a decent reception of numerous participants and guests of the Olympics. Therefore, the Russian government has allocated such a large amount. Eventually, everything that has been built is the city's immovable property, which will undoubtedly serve its development, its present and future.

During the construction, infrastructure of Sochi, a "pearl" of the Krasnodar Territory, was radically changed for the better. By the beginning of 2014 in the city 360 kilometers of roads and 200 kilometers of railways were laid and reconstructed, modern treatment facilities were built, the City Airport was renovated, a unique Russian International Olympic University was opened, a seaport was modernized, the Adler thermal power plant was commissioned, more than 6 km of sewerage networks were built. Aside from that, certainly, a whole structure of modern sports facilities was created.

The construction of Olympic facilities used an international standard for the so-called "green" building. The cycle of solid waste processing and disposal was improved. Two landfills in the Adler and Lazarev areas were eliminated (about 7 million cubic meters disposed.)

As a result of the successful application of a variety of innovative environmental technologies for the first time in many years an ecological balance has been reached - this was reported by the Krasnodar region's governor, Alexander Tkachev. According to him, over the past seven years, air quality in Sochi has increased twice. If in 2007 the maximum allowable concentration of harmful substances in the air was 1.2 mg/m3, today this figure is already 0.6 mg/m3.

In addition, according to Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Men, as a result of urban transformation the area of specially protected natural territories of unique parks, and relic groves has been significantly increased.

Sochi will certainly not become a "single-use" city. Already this summer it will host a summit of the G8, and for the autumn a super popular Formula-1 is planned to be held here.

It is clearly that the seven-year, colossal by scale work was done not only for the sake of the two-week sports festival. Thanks to the implementation of the Olympic program, Sochi has received thousands of new jobs, and has found a new image. The state plans contains another meaning too - to create in Russia the first all-season high level resort, which will become attractive and affordable both for Russians and foreign tourists.