There are a number of reasons that countries fight to host the Olympics. Not least of which is a reason to develop land which will initially be used by the Games themselves, but afterwards by the countries own people. Sochi is no different, with a hint of deviousness. Much of Sochi’s shoreline and skiing areas have been completely immaculately renovated, providing our Olympic athletes with a luxurious place to compete.
Unfortunately, this has all come at a great cost. Many of the residents of Sochi were forcibly removed from their homes to make way for the Olympic games. These people were paid pennies on the dollar for their homes, without a care given to where these people would go. Many are now homeless without family or friends to take care of them. Worse, many Russians suspect that Sochi will not be ready for the Olympics, causing a huge embarrassment to the Russian Republic.
The Olympic games will be held in a number of different regions. The two that we will be looking at today are the Mountain Cluster and Krassnoya Polyana (Red Fields). Yesterday we took a look at Sochi’s Olympic Village nestled in the Mountain Cluster, so today we will continue.
We will again turn to Russian blogger Sergei Nikitskij (Сергей Никитский) for our photo source. He has done an amazing job of capturing much of Sochi’s recent activities, as well as a great deal of their previous work. I highly recommend checking out his blog if you are curious as to the goings on of Russia.
Let us first take a look at the Mountain Cluster and much of the infrastructure surrounding it.
We will start by checking out the bobsleigh track. While it isn’t 100% complete, it is fully functional. It seems that several test runs were made over the winter and now all that is left is putting on some finishing cosmetic touches.
In order to accommodate such a large number of spectators, a great deal was invested into Sochi’s infrastructure. New roads were built to get people in and out of Sochi, all the while the region itself was greatly improved. Without going into a before and after tour of Sochi, lets just take a quick look at how it looks now. Keep in mind, before this construction most of Sochi could be compared to a third world country.
Finally, I would like to point your attention to the Krassnoya Polyana, or Red Fields. This is where most of the guests will be staying as well as a large number of Athletes. A great deal more construction was done to support this area than anywhere else. It is expected that after the games, this is the region that will be most visited by Russians and tourists alike.
Before construction, Krassnoya Polyana was just a set of old homes populated by people that have lived here for generations. It was a very poor area but located in a relatively nice location. Hence, when Russia won the Olympic games, many of the residents were forcibly removed. This is incredibly unfortunate, no doubt. Such is the life of a Russian citizen.
The roads going in and out of the area have been greatly improved. Likewise, new bridges were constructed and traffic patters were changed.
To help with security, a new police department was also built.
The rest of the region is truly impressive, given that it is located in Russia. A great deal of time and money was spent renovating the area and it looks like it is almost ready. Again, many claim that Russia will not complete things in time for the games, but we are still a year away. Regardless of whether or not they do in fact finish, their progress is still impressive.