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Sochi prepares for Olympics in less than 100 days

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Oct 31st, 2013 @ 9:41am


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SALT LAKE CITY — In less than 100 days, the Winter Olympic Games will be kicking off in Sochi, Russia. Former Olympic officials in Salt Lake are describing what the last push to be ready for the games feels like.

With people traveling to the host city and the torch relays in full swing, there is a lot to do in the last hundred days before Opening Ceremonies.

Former Salt Lake Organizing Committee COO Fraser Bullock said, "The hundred days before the games are either calm or crazy depending on your preparation."

Bullock said not only should the main venues be finished, but they should have been tested with practice events, like qualifying meets. These test events should have been done nearly 18 months ago to give the venues enough time to fully prepare for the Olympics.

If those facilities aren't ready, organizers can be in serious trouble.

"The biggest issue in preparations for any games is getting the venues prepared early," Bullock said. "Athens really struggled with that. Torino struggled with that. In fact, the Olympic Village was not ready."

However, he said other cities, like Sydney, seemed to be ahead of schedule.

But, what about Sochi?

Bullock was asked to come in and consult more than two years ago. He gave them what he felt was a good preparation strategy. While he doesn't have access to all of the details about the prep leading to the Sochi games any more, in his opinion, he feels they'll be ready to go.

"It's a great anticipation because you know you're going to have great games. You can feel it. The team can feel it and it's very exciting," he said.

Now that Sochi organizers are in the final stretch, Bullock said they should be getting the temporary facilities set up, like SLOC was doing at this time in 2002.

"In the [last] few months, we're getting all the bleachers set up, all of the TV cameras set, all the lighting set and all the particular details for each venue ready," he said.

Bullock was also invited to give a proposal strategy to organizers in Rio de Janeiro. He said that city is nowhere near where they need to be for the 2016 summer games.

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