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Hotels unfinished as athletes arrive in Sochi

Monday 03 Feb 2014 6:42p.m.

Hotels unfinished as athletes arrive in Sochi

By Ross McNaughton

New Zealand and Mongolia are the first teams to be welcomed into the Olympic Village in Sochi, just a couple of days before the opening ceremony and competition gets underway.

And while athletes' accommodation is ready, a number of hotels still aren't finished and organisers are being urged to pick up the pace, with many visitors facing the prospect of having nowhere to stay.

Build it and they will come says the old adage, but in the case of Sochi, tourists and media are arriving and the tradesmen are still working.

The Gorki Grand Hotel had to relocate guests as it still wasn't finished, while another has delayed its opening.

"Certainly I have worked in areas where the construction speed was a bit faster than here, but at the end of the day we have reached our target to be ready for the Games," says International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.

According to the Sochi Organising Committee, only six of the nine media hotels in the mountain area are fully operational, and the IOC says they are aware of the problem.

"We are in contact with the Organising Committee and we hope the situation will be solved in the next couple of days," says Mr Bach.

And unfinished accommodation isn't the only worry for organisers and the IOC; terror threats have meant 40,000 security personnel are on the ground in Sochi, and protesters unhappy with President Vladimir Putin's government are also expected to target the Games.

But according to the IOC athletes won't be prevented from speaking their minds.

"They should be free to make their comments known, and make their views known. They should also be free not to do that," says IOC communications director Mark Adams.

In fact it seems Sochi may be encouraging sharing, with more of the now infamous double toilets discovered in the media centre.

3 News

 
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