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Action everywhere, from the Black Sea coast to the Krasnaya Polyana mountains. Superb competition venues for spectacular events, historic performances and numerous records – the XXII Olympic Winter Games kept all their promises. Here are the most memorable athlete exploits that took place in Sochi between 6 and 23 February 2014:
At 10.55 p.m. on Friday 7 February 2014, Russian three-time Olympic champions Irina Rodnina (pairs figure skating) and Vladislav Tretiak (ice hockey) lit the Olympic cauldron.
Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen, winner of the sprint 10km and the new Olympic event, mixed relay, brought his medal count to 13, after starting at the Nagano Games in 1998 (8 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze). He thus overtook his compatriot, Bjørn Daehlie, to become the Olympic Winter Games athlete with the most medals.
Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen won three more gold medals in Sochi (skiathlon, team sprint and 30km freestyle), making a total of six since her first title in Vancouver in 2010, as well as a total of 10 medals won since the Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, becoming one of the Olympic Winter Games female athlete with the most medals (with Smetanina and Belmondo).
In Alpine skiing, gold medals were won by the youngest-ever Olympic champion in the history of the discipline, American Mikaela Shiffrin, 18 years and 345 days old, and the oldest, Austria’s Mario Matt, aged 34 and 10 months. American Bode Miller, third in the Super-G at the age of 36 years and 127 days, became the oldest-ever medallist in his discipline.
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, 15 years and 73 days old, became the youngest ever medallist on the snow in the history of the Games, when he won the silver medal in the snowboard half-pipe competition.
Russian luger Albert Demchenko and Japanese ski jumping champion Noriaki Kasai, both in their forties, were competing in their seventh edition of the Games, both winning two medals in Sochi. Kasai also equalled the record for the longest interval between two (silver) medals: 20 years!
Like Marit Bjørgen, Belarusian biathlete Darya Domracheva and Russian short-track speed skater Victor An won three gold medals at the XXII Olympic Winter Games. But the athlete who won the most medals at these Games was Ireen Wüst, with five speed skating medals (two gold, three silver)!
Ireen Wüst was a member of the Netherlands speed skating team which won 23 medals, achieved four top-three clean sweeps and was present on every one of the 12 podiums, men’s and women’s alike. A unique domination of one discipline at the Games.
For the first time in figure skating, the 100-point barrier was broken in a short programme, by Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu (101.45), who went on to win the gold medal.
Bronze medallist in 1994, silver in 1998, gold in 2002 and 2006 and bronze in 2010 and 2014, Italian luger Armin Zöggeler became the first athlete to win six consecutive medals in six editions of the Winter Games.
The first winners of the 12 new Olympic events were:
Russia (team figure skating), Germany (luge relay), Norway (biathlon mixed relay), Germany’s Carina Voigt (women’s ski jumping), Canadian Dara Howell and American Joss Christensen (ski slopestyle), Americans Maddie Bowman and David Wise (ski half-pipe), Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg (snowboard slopestyle), Austrian’s Julia Dujmovits and Russian Vic Wild (snowboard parallel slalom).
The 2014 Olympic Winter Games were the first time that the Russian Federation hosts the Winter Games; the Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. The host city Sochi has a population of 400,000 people and is situated in Krasnodar, which is the third largest region in Russia.
The Games were organised in two clusters: a coastal cluster for ice events in Sochi, and a mountain cluster located in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains. This made it one of the most compact Games ever, with around 30 minutes travel time from the coastal to mountain cluster.
The Sochi Olympic Park was built along the Black Sea coast in the Imeretinskaya Valley, where all the ice venues such as the Bolshoi Ice Palace, the Maly Ice Palace, the Olympic Oval, the Sochi Olympic Skating Centre, the Olympic Curling Centre, the Central Stadium, the Main Olympic Village and the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre, had been built anew for the 2014 Games. The Park ensured a very compact concept with an average distance of 6km between the Olympic Village and the other coastal venues.
The mountain cluster in Krasnaya Polyana was home to all the skiing and sliding sports. The mountain concept was again a very compact one with only an average distance of 4km between the mountain sub-village and the venues. There was also a sub-media centre in the mountain cluster.
Sochi was elected on 4 July 2007 by the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 119th Session in Guatemala City.
Seven cities, namely Sochi (Russian Federation), Salzburg (Austria), Jaca (Spain), Almaty (Kazakhstan), PyeongChang (Republic of Korea), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Borjomi (Georgia) - in the order of drawing of lots - initially submitted applications to host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Based on the report by a working group, three of the seven cities were unanimously selected by the IOC’s Executive Board as Candidate Cities at its meeting on 22 June 2006:
The final decision on the host city for the XXII Olympic Winter Games was made by the full IOC membership during the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala City on 4 July 2007. Sochi was elected in the second round with 51 votes, compared to PyeongChang’s 47.
The notions of simplicity and modernity are at the root of the design of the official emblem for the Games in Sochi. For the first time, there was no image or drawn elements but rather a typographical exercise, featuring the novel inclusion of the internet address on the first line of text. Below, the figure 2014 next to the Olympic rings vertically mirrors the letters of the word Sochi.
“To prove our commitment to innovation, the Sochi 2014 emblem is clearly digital”, explained Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Organising Committee for the XXII Olympic Winter Games. “Today we welcome tomorrow. Our emblem challenges people to look beyond what they expect from our country. We believe sochi2014.ru can become an international symbol of a sporting, social, economic and environmental legacy that lasts for generations.”
The medals of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi symbolise the mosaic of national designs from the various cultures and ethnicities that make up the Russian Federation. In them, we see the Sochi landscape bathed in the sun’s rays, which shine through the snowy summits onto the sandy beaches of the Black Sea. The work of a master craftsman, mixing metal and polycarbonate, the medals blend lightness and beauty, which makes them even more special for the “lucky few” who won them.
These medals have several peculiarities. For example, the Olympic rings are reproduced on the obverse, while the name of the event in English and the emblem of the Sochi Games are engraved on the reverse. Finally the official title of the Games “XXII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES”
is written in Russian, English and French on the edge. The Olympic medals weigh between 460 and 531 grams depending on which metal is used – gold, silver or bronze. They measure 100mm in diameter and are 10mm thick. Some 1,300 medals were produced for the 2014 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Sochi.
There are three mascots in a nod to the three places on the Olympic podium.
Number of torchbearers: 14,000
Duration: 123 days, from 7 October 2013 to 7 February 2014
Distance: 65 000km
The official poster captures the essence of the Games in Sochi. The Caucasian Mountains soar majestically above the Black Sea, symbolising the two competition clusters, one on the coast in Sochi, even for the ice events, and the other in the Krasnaya Polyana valley, for the snow, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events. The emblem of the XXII Olympic Winter Games occupies the whole of the centre, with its unusual feature: the presence of the internet address, a symbol of modernity, innovation and dynamism. At the top is the slogan, “Hot. Cool. Yours.” “Hot”, for the intensity of the sporting competition, the passion of the spectators and the location of these Games, in southern Russia. “Cool” is a reference to the Winter Games and the traditional image of Russia as having a cold climate. The last word, “Yours”, shows that the Games belong to the athletes and the public, and that everyone can get involved in making them a success.
The Official Report of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014
This is a commemorative book (volume 2 of the official report, available on CD 2, only English-Russian bilingual).
The Official Report published by the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Sochi 2014 is composed of a box set containing a commemorative book (published in English and Russian) as well as four CD-ROMs, dealing with various aspects related to the organisation and running of the Games:
Vol. 1: Presentation of Sochi’s candidature. - Vol. 2: Commemorative book (also available in print, but only in English and Russian). - Vol. 3: Preparation of the Olympic Games (English and French versions) and Paralympic Games (English version only).- Vol. 4: Official results of the Games (trilingual document – English, French and Russian). The last CD also contains the list of Olympic and Paralympic medallists (bilingual – English and Russian).