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sochi2014, sochi, sochi olympics, winter olympics, current events, Location Feature,

Sochi: Building a City for the Olympics

To view more photos and videos from Sochi, browse the #Sochi2014 hashtag, explore the Сочи / Sochi, Sochi, Морской Порт / Sochi seaport, Олимпийский парк / Sochi Olympic Park and Горнолыжный Центр - Роза Хутор | Rosa Khutor - Alpine Center location pages on Instagram

"Two years ago, I came here and I remember these small, old two-story houses and this tiny airport," recalls Russian Instagrammer Julia Mikhaleva (@myatna). “As I was flying into Sochi for the Winter Olympics, I looked out of the window and all I could see were lights upon lights coming from this big city.”

Julia is one of many Russians who have been amazed (“and pleasantly surprised,” she adds) by the rapid transformation of Sochi to prepare the city for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sitting on Russia’s southernmost coast looking out onto the Black Sea, the resort town was a popular holiday destination for its warmer climate and proximity to alpine ski slopes. A train line now connects brand new venues at the “coastal cluster” and “mountain cluster” for the 2014 Olympic events.

The successful bid to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi also led to the construction of new buildings, a new road infrastructure, an expanded airport and hotels. Sochi’s metamorphosis is also expected to turn the city into a popular ski resort for locals and tourists after the Games.

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sochi, winter olympics, current events,

2014 Olympic Torch Relay

On October 6, the Olympic Torch Relay kicked off a 123-day journey around Russia for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. More than 14,000 torchbearers are expected to carry the torch 65,000 kilometers (40,000 miles), making this the longest Torch Relay in Olympic history. The route covers all 83 regions of Russia and it is estimated that by the end of the event, the torch will have been within an hour’s distance of 90% of the Russian population. The relay ends at the Olympic Stadium in Sochi on 7 February just in time for the Opening Ceremony.

To tune in to the relay on Instagram, be sure to browse the #ЭстафетаОгня and #TorchRelay hashtags and follow the official @olympics and @sochi2014 accounts.