Global Sports Forum: Olympic Insights – Sochi

Today, we heard from not one but two Presidents of Olympic host city organizing committees, Dmitry Chernyshenko from Sochi 2014 and Carlos Nuzman from Rio 2016. With a limited amount of time per panel, there are only so many topics you can really dig into, but the discussion included mascots, logos, planning, transportation, the bid process, security, environment, social media and legacy. Here are some of their thoughts:

Dmitry Chernyshenko and Sochi 2014:

  • On new media:  He’s very active on Twitter (@DChernyshenko) and Facebook, both personally and on behalf of Sochi 2014. The power of new media is the speed of distributing information. It’s the most powerful communication channel, especially with their focus on youth.
  • On legacy:  The Games will go a long way to improve the environment. Green standards are being used for all new venue construction. They want to be as carbon-neutral as possible throughout the construction and the Games. There is also a lift for the Sochi national parks, which in turn will help save the snow leonard (being used as one of the mascots as well)
  • On planning:  They literally started from nothing, a “blank canvas” which was a big advantage allowing them to build an infrastructure. They are the biggest construction site in the world and have over 42,000 workers involved.
  • On accessibility:  Sochi will be a barrier free environment, building full access for disabled individuals. They are committed to changing the public attitude about disabilities, and want to establish best practices to become a model city.
  • On corruption: There is an image of corruption in Russia, but the Sochi project is very transparent and wants to act as an anti-corruption model for other projects.
  • On security:  You can never completely stop terrorism, but the authorities are doing everything possible. There are 100 different nationalities living in this area in peace. Sochi “will be” the safest place ever for the Olympics.
  • On measuring the impact: The IOC measures a lot. There are 111 different social, economic and environment measurement points measured to show improvement. They are already showing positive results for the environment, disabled access and their volunteer program. This builds a legacy for the city and the country.

Background on the design of the Sochi Olympics:

Thoughts on the NHL’s participation and on post-event economics (my questions!)

I will be back with another post on Carlos Nuzman and Rio 2016 later today or tomorrow.