Countdown to Sochi 2014 Olympics


One year before Russia hosts its first Winter Olympics, this Black Sea resort is a vast construction site sprawling for nearly 25 miles along the coast and up into the mountains. For Russia and its leadership, the 2014 Sochi Games is a point of national pride. President Putin has made the Olympics his personal project and, determined to use them to showcase a powerful and prosperous Russia, has spared no expense to make sure the games are a success.

Olympic rings for the 2014 Winter Olympics are installed in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia, late Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. With the Winter Olympics a year away, IOC President Jacques Rogge praised Sochi organizers on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 and defended the $51 billion price tag. (AP Photo/Ignat Kozlov))



FOR STORY RUSSIA SOCHI YEAR TO GO - In this photo dated Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, the sun shines over the ski stadium during the FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Sochi, Russia. With just one year till the opening ceremony of the winter Olympic 2014 Sochi Games, the Black Sea resort is still a vast construction site sprawling for nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) along the coast and 50 kilometers (30 miles) up into the mountains, with no escape from the clang and clatter of the construction works, the drilling, jack-hammering and mixing of cement. (AP Photo/Igor Yakunin)


FOR STORY RUSSIA SOCHI YEAR TO GO - In this photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, The inside view of the Adler-arena speed skating venue at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, with just one year till the opening ceremony of the winter Olympic 2014 Sochi Games. The Black Sea resort of Sochi is a vast construction site sprawling for nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) along the coast and 50 kilometers (30 miles) up into the mountains, with no escape from the clang and clatter of the construction works, the drilling, jack-hammering and mixing of cement. (AP Photo/Igor Yakunin) 


FOR STORY RUSSIA SOCHI YEAR TO GO - In this photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, the outside view of the Bolshoy ice dome, main ice hockey arena, at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi The Olympic stadium is seen under construction at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, with just one year till the opening ceremony of the winter Olympic 2014 Sochi Games. The Black Sea resort of Sochi is a vast construction site sprawling for nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) along the coast and 50 kilometers (30 miles) up into the mountains, with no escape from the clang and clatter of the construction works, the drilling, jack-hammering and mixing of cement. (AP Photo/Igor Yakunin)


El presidente ruso Vladimir Putin visita una instalación de salto con esquí cerca del balneario ruso de Sochi el miércoles, 6 de febrero de 2013. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)


An artist performs with fire during a ceremony to launch a countdown clock for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Bolshoi Ice Dome in the Black Sea resort of Sochi February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS)


Fireworks explode near the Bolshoi Ice Dome following a ceremony to launch a countdown clock for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS SPORT OLYMPICS)


Actors perform during a ceremony to launch a countdown clock to the 2014 Winter Olympics in front of Kazan Cathedral in central St. Petersburg February 7, 2013. Ceremonies will be launched across Russia on Thursday to mark 365 days left until the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS)


Moscow's Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, center, stands surrounded by a crowd of various sports enthusiasts waving Russian and Moscow flags during a ceremony of the launching the one-year count down clock for the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)


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