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Sochi – Considered the longest city in Europe (approximately 92 miles), Sochi is a resort destination in the Krasnodar Krai territory. This is the first time Russia will host the Winter Olympics; the Soviet Union (USSR) hosted the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.

When: The Winter Games will be held February 7-23, 2014. The Paralympic Games will be held March 7-16, 2014. This is the 22nd Winter Olympics.

Event Locations – Ice events will be held in a “cluster” near the Black Sea in the Imeretinskaya Valley. The second “cluster” will be for skiing and sliding events and will be held in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains.

Cost: The Sochi Olympics are expected to be the costliest ever, at more than $50 billion including infrastructure work in and around the venue.

Athletes: 6,000 from 85 countries (plus 1,650 Paralympians from 45 countries) will participate in the Winter Games

Sports: 15

Number of events: 89 — of which 12 are new (yay women’s ski jumping)

Security: Athletes will be guarded by about 37,000 security officers

Days of competition: 17, plus the Opening Ceremony

Food: Cooks expect to serve 265,000 liters of borscht (beet soup) during the games

Average temp in Sochi: The average temperature in February is 47 Fahrenheit — the warmest ever at Winter Olympics

Expected television audience: 3 billion

Controversy: Protests have arisen due to gay rights issues in Russia and conflicts between Russian law and the Olympic charter.

U.S. delegates:  The U.S. delegation will include openly gay athletes including Billie Jean King.

Sources: CNN, Sochi Winter Olympic Games organizing committee, Russian Interior Ministry, Reuters

January 15, 2014

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