Sochi enjoying sporting boost from 2014 Winter Games
One year on from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the Russian resort of Sochi is still enjoying world-class sporting action thanks to the legacy provided by the Olympic venues.
The Bolshoy Ice Dome, for instance, is already home to the first professional ice hockey team to be based in Sochi, and regularly attracts between 7,000 and 8,000 fans for Kontinental Hockey League matches. It has also already hosted the 2015 KHL All-star match this year.
The Olympic Park itself, meanwhile, played host to the inaugural Formula One Russian Grand Prix in October 2014, providing a unique spectacle as eventual world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed victory ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. “The surroundings, being around the Olympic Park, is quite an incredible place," said Britain’s Hamilton after the race.
Elsewhere in the Olympic Park, the Fisht Olympic Stadium – which hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies during Sochi 2014 – is currently being converted into a football stadium ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Ice Cube Curling Centre will also soon be welcoming elite-level sport again, when it stages the 2015 WCF World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships and the 2015 World Senior Curling Championships, while the Shayba Arena will be converted from its Games-time set-up to become the Russian Children’s Sports and Education Centre.
Venues in Sochi’s Mountain Cluster will also provide a valuable sporting legacy for the region. The Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Centre are now winter sports resort destinations, as well as sites for elite-level competition and training. Rosa Khutor will welcome the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2016, while the Sanki Sliding Centre is set to host the 2015 FIL European Luge Championships and a 2015 FIL Luge World Cup event, as well as a 2015 FIBT World Cup and the FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championships in 2017.
With so many exciting events on the horizon, Sochi looks set to become a fixture on the international sporting calendar for many years to come.