Sochi 2014: An Olympic Preview

In just over one year, the small Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi won its bid to host the games back in 2007, and has been preparing ever since - upgrading telecommunications, transportation, and other infrastructure, and constructing many huge new venues in two main locations: the Coastal Cluster along the Black Sea shore in the Imeretinskaya Valley and the Mountain Cluster in Krasnaya Polyana. With construction deadlines approaching next summer, here is a look at the progress so far in Sochi.
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1. A view of the Bolshoi Ice Palace construction site at the Olympic Park in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on December 16, 2011. The Olympic Park will be able to accommodate about 75,000 visitors when full, and all the ice arenas will be within walking distance of one other. Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics that start on February 7, 2014.




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2. An aerial view of the construction area of the Olympic Park in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, on May 18, 2012.




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3. People fishing from the shore near the construction site of the Olympic Village in the Imereti Valley in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on November 22, 2012.




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4. Security guards walk along the debris of abandoned buildings with the Olympic Park in Imeretinskaya Valley seen in the background, in Sochi, on February 17, 2012.




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5. Construction of the Olympic Oval skating center during a media tour of the Olympic venues in Sochi, on February 10, 2012. The Olympic Oval will host the speed skating events of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The stadium will be used as a trade and exhibition center after the Games.




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6. The newly constructed Iceberg skating palace, which will host the short track speed skating and figure skating events in Sochi, part of the coastal cluster for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, on December 7, 2012.




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7. The Bolshoi Ice Palace under construction at the Olympic park in Sochi, on May 20, 2011.




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8. Residents work in their garden, with the under-construction Olympic Park in Imeretinskaya Valley seen in the background, in Sochi, on February 17, 2012.




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9. Construction work on the train line that will connect the Olympic coastal venues with the mountain venues, on December 9, 2012 in Sochi, Russia.




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10. A ski resort under construction near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, on May 19, 2011.




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11. Views of the river running through Rosa Khutor mountain venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, on November 7, 2012.




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12. The RusSki Gorki Ski Jump, which will be used for the Ski Jumping event at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014, during the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup on December 9, 2012.




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13. A snowboarder passes by an advertising poster for Gorky Gorod, an under-construction ski resort in Krasnaya Polyana, some 40 km (25 miles) outside of the Black Sea city of Sochi, late February 18, 2012. During the 2014 Olympics, Gorky Gorod will be used as the Olympic Media Village.




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14. A trial jumper soars over construction sites surrounding the ski jumping hill of Krasnaya Polyana, on December 7, 2012, before the start of the Sochi Ski Jumping World Cup tournament. The hill will be a venue for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.




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15. Gondolas sit near a track at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort on Aibga Ridge, part of the complex of facilities to be used for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, on November 7, 2012.




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16. An aerial view of a partially demolished house, owned by the Khlystov family, in the Black Sea city of Sochi, on September 19, 2012. Workers arrived at Sergei Khlystov's gate on a Friday evening to bulldoze his home and clear a path for sewage pipes to the Olympic village being built in Sochi.




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17. Tatyana Samokhval (left), daughter of local resident Sergei Khlystov, embraces her crying mother Valentina Khlystova in front of their partially demolished house in the Black Sea city of Sochi, on September 19, 2012. Khlystov and his 33-year-old son-in-law, Maxim Samokhval, at first tried to block the bulldozers but then stood aside and watched as the two-story house was destroyed. The earthmovers ended Khlystov's battle to stay in his house, one of the last razed in the Mirny neighborhood to make way for the Winter Olympics in 2014.




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18. The accommodation and facilities complex, under construction in Sochi, with the Bolshoi Ice Dome in the background, on December 2, 2012. Construction is due to be completed by August 2013 according to organizers.




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19. Workers on the roof of the Bolshoi Ice Dome, a venue for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics under construction on December 2, 2012.




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20. A view of the Adler Arena, the Olympic 2014 Speed Skating venue during the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2012 at the Iceberg Skating Palace on December 7, 2012 in Sochi, Russia.




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21. The Fisht Olympic Stadium, a part of the complex of facilities to be used for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, under construction in Sochi, on December 2, 2012.




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22. A journalist walks inside the under-construction Bolshoi Ice Palace in the Olympic park in Imeretinskaya Valley, on May 30, 2011.




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23. The partially-completed interior of the Shayba Arena, part of the complex of facilities to be used for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, on November 6, 2012. The Shayba Arena is designed to accommodate 7,000 spectators, and will host Olympic ice hockey competitions and Paralympic ice sledge hockey competitions.




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24. A man cleans the floor of the Adler Arena venue for Speed Skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics on November 6, 2012 in Sochi, Russia.




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25. The exterior of the Shayba Arena, part of the complex of facilities to be used for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, on November 6, 2012.




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26. Several buildings under construction in the Olympic Park to be used for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, on December 9, 2012. The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opens on February 7, 2014.