He told his audience that back when they won the bid Sochi was “tired Soviet style resort” attracting maybe four million visitors a year to the out-dated facilities. Today, with the Winter 2014 olympiad rapidly approaching, “Sochi is the largest construction site, possibly in the world”, he said.
Contractors have 55,000 people working day and night to complete 370 kms of new road, 200 kms of railroad and 22 tunnels ensuring the smooth connection between the coastal areas and the mountains.
“It’s the equivalent of building a new city of 150,000 residents from scratch,” he said.
The Sochi Olympic Park, which has a capacity of 75,000 will host its first test event in October this year, Chernyshenko said.
Chernyshenko also spoke of his pride that their achievements are “not just steel and concrete but an intangible legacy of intellectual property”.
The project management techniques developed for Sochi have been adopted by the Russian government as the standard for all major projects. Sochi has created a new commercial record for Olympic venues by raising $1.2 billion from sponsors.
"We hit $1.2 billion which made us the most commercially successful Organising Committee in Olympic history.
He is proud also that "Forbes recently ranked Sochi as the number-one place to do business in Russia and he extended an invitation to anyone in the audience who was still undecided about starting a business in Russia to come to Sochi and see what was on offer..
Chernyshenko also stressed Sochi2014’s green credentials and said that along with their concern for ecosystems and the environment they planned to return a colony of snow leopards to the region from where they had disappeared in the middle of last century.
As well as raising awareness and acceptance of equal opportunities for disabled, Chernyshenko said that the Sochi2014 organising committee have pioneered the culture of Volunteerism in Russia. Through partnerships with over 20 universities across Russia they are training potential volunteers and already have registered over 100,000 applicants while they need only 25,000 volunteers for the games.