Seven fun facts to close the Winter Games

February 27, 2014 5:00 pm0 commentsViews: 4

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was eventful to say the least, including drama over the judging system for ice skating and favorites falling short of the medal podium. Rivalries among athletes and countries were revived and stubborn little snowflakes failed to materialize. With the Games now over, here are some fun facts about the road to Sochi.

1. This year, 12 events made their first appearances, making this the largest Olympic Games in history. The new events were women’s ski jumping, a figure skating team event, team relay luge, men’s and women’s ski slope style, mixed relay biathlon, men’s and women’s snowboard parallel slalom, men’s and women’s ski halfpipe and men’s and women’s snowboard slopestyle. That meant having 98 events in total in 15 sports compared to 86 events in Vancouver in 2010.

2. Sochi, is a subtropical summer resort city located next to the Black Sea, making this year’s Olympics the warmest ever. The Games were made possible by snowmaking machines and cold-preserving traps on the sides of the mountain in order to make enough snow.

3. Sochi only has a population of around 400,000. But because of the Olympics, Sochi welcomed 6,000 athletes from 85 countries, 25,000 volunteers, 13,000 media members and an estimated 500,000 spectators.

4. The torch relay this year went from Oct. 7 to Feb. 7, for 123 days. On Oct. 20 the torch was at the North Pole for the first time, by way of a nuclear-powered icebreaker. On Nov. 6, it was in outer space on the Soyuz rocket. On Nov. 23, it was in Siberia at the bottom of Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world. By early February, it was at the top of Europe’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus.

5. Events happened at two main clusters: the coastal cluster near the Black Sea hosted the ice events, while the mountain cluster in the Caucasus Mountains in Krasnaya Polyana hosted sliding and skiing events. Going from one location to the other takes no more than 30 minutes, which made Sochi one of the least spread out games in history.

6. This is the first time Russia has hosted the Olympics. The Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but Team U.S.A. did not go because of a boycott. This was a result of the U.S. protesting the Soviets invading Afghanistan at the time.

7. The Sochi Olympics were the most expensive in history. It took Sochi around $50 billion to make the Olympics happen due to the fact that the 11 venues had to be built from scratch. The second most expensive Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, cost around $40 billion. The 2012 London Olympics only cost $19 billion in comparison.