Fun Facts about the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games
The 2014 Winter Olympics kicked off last February 7 in Sochi, Russia. Sports enthusiasts all over the world remain steadfast on their hopes and faith that their bets and representatives will win. The Olympic spirit represents all that is true, good and strong in the spirit of sports and camaraderie. Here are the top fun facts you need to know about the Winter Olympics this year.
- From the world’s deepest lake to outer space, the Sochi Olympics torch will be carried by 14,000 bearers on foot, plane, bus and other modes of transportation over 65,000 kilometers for 123 days across 2,900 cities and villages.
- The Sochi gold medal contains 516 grams of silver and 5 grams of gold. Russia promised $122,000 to each of its gold medal winners. The London Olympics got $25,000.
- Woman ski jump is perhaps the most dramatic addition in the women’s event in ski jumping. A long campaign and lobbying finally brought equality to the once all-male sport.
- Bjorn Daehlie from Norway remains the Winter Olympian with the most medals. 8 gold and 4 silvers.
- Unknown to many, Sochi is a subtropical town known as the Russian Riviera where temperatures, even in winter, rarely drop below 12°C. Events that need hard snow will be held in the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana. Snow machines from Finland are on standby in case the warm weather threatens.
- BMW designs the bobsled of the USA team wrapped in carbon fiber and optimized with advanced aerodynamic engineering.
- Winter Olympics aren’t as major as the Summer Olympics with only 15 sports as opposed to 41 in the summer.
- This is the most expensive Olympic game in the history. At around $51B – a bit over with Russia’s $12B budget. The last Winter Olympics, in Vancouver cost around $8B.
- Figure skater Michael Christian Martinez became the first Filipino to qualify for the Winter Olympics after securing a spot in the final qualifying event.
- The 2014 Winter Games will be the second time being hosted by Russia. Moscow hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics.
- Maria Sharapova started her early tennis training in Sochi.
- 11 new sports venues with a seating capacity of 120,000 were constructed for the games.
- The mascots were voted by Russians: a polar bear, hare and a leopard.
- Athletes who win gold on February 15 will be given special gold medals with pieces of a meteorite that crashed in Russia last February 15, 2013.
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