February 2014 - Olympic Venue Gossip

If you are lucky enough to attend the Olympics than you probably have this map above in your hands (and you are probably not reading this blog) but if you are sitting at your desk wondering what went into the Olympic venues perhaps I can give you a little insight.

There are twelve venues in total, half of which will also host the Paralympic Games.  I mention several of them below.

Fisht Olympic Stadium which was designed by Populous is the largest venue holding 40,000.  It will house the opening and closing ceremonies.  It has an open roof design which was designed to look like snow caps.  Depending on which source you use the cost was $603.5 million to $778.7 million.  By the way Sochi is known for torrential downpours.  I'm sure they planned ahead for that.

The Bolshoy Ice Dome is said to resemble a Faberge Egg and cost $180.1 million to build according to Wkipedia.  Other sources such as Vanity Fair say it cost $302.9 million due to the contractors defrauding the state of millions of dollars.   The venue holds 12,000 people and the ice hockey finals will be held there.  In The Voice of America Alexy Navalny stated that the cost to build this venue is equal to the cost of 3,400 regular Russian hockey facilities.

Also holding 12,000 people is the Iceberg Skating Palace.  Although Sochi is the warmest city in Russia they are keeping with the spirit of the Winter Olympics by naming the polar bear as one of the official mascots which I'm sure you will see in this building since it was designed to resemble the Arctic.  One of the largest disparities in pricing quotes, Wikipedia says this venue cost $43.9 million to build while Vanity Fair states that it cost $277.7 million.  

The next largest venue is the Adler Arena Skating Center which holds 8,000 people.  What I like best about this venue is that the walls along the sides of the skating rink are transparent so you can see the spectacular view outside between performances.

The Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort can hold 7500 people and it has extra storage facilities nearby that store snow in case there is a shortage during the games.  It cost $2.6 billion to build.  

The RusSki Gorki Jumping Center has interesting trivia behind it.  The plans neglected to account for geologic instability so the cost escalated to $265 million.  Perhaps the spectators should leave the jumping to the athletes just in case.

The Rail-Highway Link isn't a venue but it will be what many people take to get from one area to another. With a price tag of $9.4 billion I hope it is something to see.

If you haven't heard about the digital Mount Rushmore display you may be interested in reading this, http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/14/5307032/asif-khan-iart-megaface-sochi-winter-olympics-installation