Celebrations are taking place in Sochi to mark one year to go until the start of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. A series of countdown clocks were launched in cities across Russia, displaying 365 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of Sochi 2014 on 7 February next year.
The clocks, made by Olympic Partner Omega, were unveiled in Moscow, St Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Pyatigorsk and Khabarovsk.
Later, more celebrations will take place in Sochi, with a gala event being held in the host city’s Bolshoi Ice Palace, which will stage ice hockey matches during next year’s Games.
During the event, IOC President Jacques Rogge will present invitations to the 2014 Winter Games to a selection of National Olympic Committees, while Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014 Jean-Claude Killy, the IOC's Executive Director of Olympic Games Gilbert Felli and President and CEO of Sochi 2014 Dmitry Chernyshenko will also be in attendance.
The official ceremony will be followed by a spectacular ice show, directed by Sochi 2014 Ambassador and well-known figure skater Ilya Averbukh, which will tell the story of Sochi’s preparations for the Games since it won the bid in 2007. The show will also feature several of Russia's renowned figure skating stars, including Sochi 2014 Ambassadors Irina Slutskaya and Tatiana Navka, while the evening’s festivities will conclude with a spectacular firework display.