Athletes move in to Olympic Villages
Athletes competing at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games have begun moving in to the three Olympic Villages, as the countdown to the Games continues.
Approximately 2,800 athletes will be housed in the three Villages during the Games, which run from 7-23 February.
In the host city, the Coastal Olympic Village – named ‘Usadba’ by organisers – will accommodate those athletes competing in events held within the Olympic Park, such as curling, ice hockey, figure skating, short track and speed skating.
Covering an area of 72 hectares on the shores of the Black Sea in the Imeretinskaya Valley, the Coastal Village consists of 47 buildings and is within walking distance of the Olympic Park venues. It is expected to house up to 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials during the Games.
The Mountain Olympic Village, meanwhile, is located on the northern slope of the Aibga Mountain Range and will be home to athletes competing in skiing, bobsleigh, freestyle skiing, luge, Nordic combined, skeleton, ski jumping and snowboarding.
Named ‘Derevnya’ by organisers, the Mountain Village is the largest of the three villages and will accommodate nearly 3,000 people during the Games.
Biathlon competitors and cross-country skiers, meanwhile, will stay in the Endurance Village, which is located on the Psekhako Ridge, within walking distance of the Laura Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Centre. It is expected to house up to 1,100 athletes, coaches and officials during the Games.
Speaking at the opening of the Coastal Village, Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, said: "This is the most exciting moment. We took seven years to reach this very emotional moment when they're handing over our beautiful Olympic Village, which is purpose-built for the most valuable participants of the games, the athletes.
"This beautiful environment will help them to perform at their best. We will provide equal, perfect opportunity for everybody and we will welcome the world on 7 February 2014."