With its unique nature, Sochi is ideal for those with an active lifestyle. Here, summer starts in April and ends only in October. Every year, numerous health resorts located along the Black Sea coast receive thousands of tourists attracted by warm sea waters and hot sunshine, while hiking, riding and biking enthusiasts explore picturesque mountains. The snow-topped Caucasus Mountains offer ample opportunities to skiers and snowboarders in wintertime.
In February 2014, Sochi hosted the XXII Winter Olympic Games and the XI Winter Paralympic Games. Large-scale construction activities had been undertaken in preparation for the event. Gazprom was a major investor in the construction projects for the key sports and infrastructure facilities, namely the Biathlon and Ski Complex, the Mountain Olympic Village, and the Mountain Tourist Center.
The Biathlon and Ski Complex for skiing and biathlon races is located three kilometers away from Krasnaya Polyana, on the Psekhako Ridge. The Complex includes a four-kilometer biathlon track, two five-kilometer tracks for cross-country skiing, and a number of training tracks. The biathlon and ski stadiums together with the viewing platforms along the tracks can accommodate about 10,000 spectators. For their convenience, the stadiums have video screens and information boards, as well as staggered viewing platforms, enabling every spectator to fully enjoy thrilling sporting events live.
The Mountain Olympic Village for 1,100 participants of the Games was built near the stadiums in accordance with the requirements of international sports organizations: athletes have to be accommodated at the same height as the competition venues.
Gazprom’s Mountain Tourist Center with its facilities located on the Psekhako Ridge and its foothill were also used during the international winter sports competitions of 2014. Before the 2014 Olympic Games, there already were two 4- and 5-star hotels, cableways, and mountain pistes with various difficulty levels, as well as shops, bars, restaurants, and a multi-purpose leisure center.
As part of the preparations for the 2014 events, new mountain ski runs and cableways, among them the 3S aerial cableway – one of the longest in the world – were constructed on the premises of Gazprom’s Mountain Tourist Center. The newly-built infrastructure also includes the Galaktika public and cultural center with conference halls, a waterpark, tourist services (with sightseeing offers), gyms, swimming pools, health centers, etc.
Thanks to all these efforts, the XXII Winter Olympic Games and the XI Winter Paralympic Games were held in Sochi successfully and at the highest level.
The sports and infrastructure facilities built by Gazprom for the Winter Olympic Games are still in active use and continue expanding after the Games.
In summer, Krasnaya Polyana’s visitors can enjoy go-karting, have a guided tour around the Olympic venues, and rent a bike. Gazprom’s Mountain Tourist Center provides opportunities for hiking, riding and car tours with special routes. The Center also offers sports equipment hire, instructor services, etc.
The biathlon stadium is used as a training ground for biathletes and ski racers all year round. The stadium hosts, inter alia, biathlon competitions and roller ski training sessions in summer, as well as national and international biathlon and ski race competitions in winter.