Sochi Olympics Venues Right On Schedule, Receiving Rave Reviews
There is a consensus among those doing preliminary site inspections that the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games "are shaping up to be spectacular," according to Scott Burnside of ESPN.com. U.S. men's hockey GM Brian Burke was in Sochi last spring and told ESPN.com he thinks the 2014 Games could be "the best ever." Other officials "from Canada and the U.S. agree." Hockey Canada President & CEO Bob Nicholson said, "It’s going to be fantastic." He added that any historic concerns about traveling in Russia for int'l events "have been put to bed." North Americans who have visited the Olympic sites and will continue to do so periodically leading up to the event "have raved about the rate at which construction is being completed and the setup of the competition sites." Although the event is coined as the Sochi Games, the athletes' village and most of the sport venues, at least for the non-mountain sports, "will be in the nearby town of Adler." A high-speed rail link is being built that will carry fans and media to the site and, once an initial security area is cleared, Burke said that pretty much all of the venues are "within a walk," including where the Medal ceremonies will be held. Within this athletic location will be two brand-new ice rinks where the men’s and women’s tournaments will take place. One will have a capacity of 12,000, and the other will accommodate 7,000 fans (ESPN.com, 9/26).