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  • Sochi 2014 Chief Says Delays Won't Affect Olympics


    (ATR) Sochi 2014 President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko says the 70+ projects now behind schedule in Sochi will not endanger delivery of the 2014 Winter Olympics in any way.
    Dmitry Chernyshenko is in Innsbruck this week for the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games. (ATR)

    “The amount of work that we are doing to create an all-year-round resort and a winter sports destination is really huge,” he said Monday during a roundtable with reporters that included ATR's Brian Pinelli.

    “But the majority of the work has nothing to do with the success of the Games or the testing of the venues.”

    In fact, less than 15 percent of all construction in the Black Sea resort is even related directly to Sochi 2014, according to Chernyshenko.

    With 55,000 workers involved in the coastal Olympic Park, it's now Europe's biggest building site, a title taken from the near-complete Olympic Park in London.
    Sochi's coastal cluster, now Europe's biggest building site. (SC Olympstroy)

    "All the competition and noncompetition venues for the Games are well on track,” the organizing committee chief insisted. “No doubts that we deliver that.”

    Chernyshenko’s comments follow recent rumors – and a confirmation from Russian deputy PM Dmitry Kozak – that more than 70 projects are lagging.

    Kozak chalked the delays up to bureaucracy and denied Sunday the Olympics would be affected, a stance echoed Monday by his fellow Dmitry.

    "We have 393 construction projects with a thousand subprojects," Chernyshenko said. "Among them, some paperwork for handover of the land of some permission still needs to be done.
    The IOC's Sochi inspection chief Jean-Claude Killy will want to see significant construction progress when his team visits next month. (Getty Images)

    He added: “This has nothing to do with a real delay that could harm the Games.”

    It’s up to him to prove that true when the IOC Coordination Commission stops by Feb. 12 through 14 for its first of two check-ups this year. The inspectors will be keen to see the venues first-hand and in particular how work is progressing on the 40,000-seat main stadium.

    Co-Comm chair Jean-Claude Killy and company will also witness the start of Sochi’s first of two full seasons of test events. The FIS Ski World Cup for men runs Feb. 7 to 12 at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center with the women’s event to follow two days later.

    According to Chernyshenko, the IOC visitors will like what’s on display in the Winter Olympic host city next month.

    “Delivery is well on track,” he said, “and this is always confirmed by the watchdog from the IOC."  

    With reporting in Innsbruck by Brian Pinelli and in Atlanta by Matthew Grayson

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