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Sochi Hotels Still Incomplete, IOC Urges Response

Published: February 3, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • IOC head Thomas Bach arriving in Sochi Sunday.
    Photo: sochi2014.com

SOCHI — The IOC is urging Russian Olympic organizers to move quickly to resolve the issue of accommodations that are not ready for accredited media personnel in the mountains outside Sochi.

According to the Sochi organizing committee, only six of the nine media hotels in the mountain area are fully operational.

Some media have arrived and found they had no place to stay, and thousands more journalists are expected to arrive Monday.

The matter was examined Sunday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee executive board.

"There are still some issues to be solved as always just before the games," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "We are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days."

The Russian government has spent $51 billion on the Olympics in the hopes of turning the Black Sea summer resort into a year-round tourism destination.

While pre-games attention has focused on cost overruns, threats of terrorist attacks and the Russian law banning gay "propaganda" among minors, the hotel situation could become an embarrassment for local organizers.

Organizers estimate that up to 6,000 media will be arriving in Sochi on Monday. About 11,000 media overall are expected to be covering Russia's first Winter Games.

IOC vice president John Coates of Australia said he was expecting an update on the situation from Sochi organizers. "It's obviously very important," he said.

IOC press commission chairman Kevan Gosper took the issue to the executive board and was working with Gilbert Felli, the executive director of the Olympic Games, in discussions with Sochi organizers.

"We've alerted them that a lot of people are coming in and particularly of the difficulty still in the mountains," Gosper said. "They are aware it's a serious issue."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.