April 26, 2014

1016, 1017, 1045, 1053, 1054, 1065, 1066 RUSSIA (Krasnodar Krai) - Venues of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

Posted on 28.02.2014, 05.04.2014, 07.04.2014, 26.04.2014
Located on the Black Sea coast, near the Caucasus Mountains, not far from the border with Georgia / Abkhazia, Greater Sochi area sprawls for 145 kilometers and is Federation's largest resort city, and also one of the very few places in Russia with a subtropical climate. Anyway, Russia conquered this coastline only in 1829, and since 1866, after the Circassian Genocide, the area was actively colonized by Russians, Armenians, Ukrainians, and other people from inner Russia. Sochi was established as a fashionable resort area under Stalin, and following the loss of the popular resorts of the Crimean peninsula in favor of Ukraine, it emerged as the unofficial summer capital of the country. During Putin's term in office, the city witnessed a significant increase in investment, and in 2014 hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games (7-23 February), the most expensive in history, with a budget of US$51 billion. The events were held around two clusters of new venues: an Olympic Park constructed in Sochi's Imeretinsky Valley on the coast of the Black Sea, and the Games' indoor venues located within walking distance, and snow events in the resort settlement of Krasnaya Polyana.

SOCHI OLYMPIC PARK (Coastal Cluster)
The Adler Arena Skating Center, an 8,000-seat speed skating oval opened in 2012, looks like an iceberg or ice fault. After the Olympics, it was turned into an exhibition center. A crystal face theme is supported by angular walls and triangular stained-glass windows. The gray and white color of the building enhances this impression. The walls along the sides of the skating rink are made transparent so that spectators can look outside. The skating center is designed to make the utmost use of local natural features.
The Ice Cube Curling Center is a 3,000-seat multi-purpose arena, opened also in 2012. After the games, it remained a sports arena, mainly that this venue is a portable one and may be re-located. It is simplistic in design, which symbolizes democracy, and accessibility alongside the festivity.

Fisht Olympic Stadium is an open-air stadium with a capacity of 40,000 person, named after Mount Fisht. It served as the Olympic stadium, the venue for their opening and closing ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Designed by Populous and British design consultancy Buro Happold, the stadium's roof was built from approximately 36,500 square metres of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene and was designed to give the roof the appearance of snowy peaks. After the Games, it will serve as a training centre and match venue for the Russia national football team, and will be one of the 11 arenas to host matches in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Bolshoy Ice Dome is an indoor sports arena opened in 2012, with a capacity of 12,000. It hosted the ice hockey competition of the 2014 Olympics, serving as the main venue for the men's tournament and hosting the medal matches for the women's tournament. It also hosted both the IIHF World U18 Championships and Channel One Cup in 2013. The arena was designed to resemble a frozen water droplet. It has also drawn comparisons to a Fabergé egg, due to the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) resembling the "jewel-encrusted surface" of the famous Russian art piece. The Ice Dome was subsequently converted into an entertainment centre and concert venue after the Olympics.

KRASNAYA POLYANA (Mountain Cluster)
The Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex is a skiing venue located on the crests and slopes of Psekhako Ridge, within 6.5-10 km far to the North-Ester of Krasnaya Polyana. The Center includes two isolated stadia, each with their own start and finish zones, two isolated track systems for Skiing and Biathlon, shooting area and warm-up zones. It hosted the biathlon and the cross-country skiing portion of the Nordic combined events. Seating 7500 at both the biathlon and the cross country skiing areas, it was first used in June 2013.


RusSki Gorki Complex is a ski jumping venue located in the Esto-Sadok village, and was host of the ski jumping and the ski jumping part of the Nordic combined event for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Two Olympic jumps of K95 (Calculation (K)-point of 95m and K125 (125m) are constructed for these games with scheduled completion in 2011. Additional hills for youth training of K72 (72m), K45 (45m), and K25 (25m) was constructed with the Olympic hills. It was first used in 2012.


Located at an altitude of 540m above sea level, the Media Center was set to receive around 4,000 television and radio broadcasters and 500 media representatives from around the world at the highlight of the Games time. The Gorki Media Center with a total area of more than 30,000 sq. m. includes the Mountain Broadcasting Center and Gorki Press Center, and is located in close proximity to media hotels. On its roof are 4 studios and 6 positions for live broadcasts with a stunning view of the Krasnaya Polyana and snow-capped mountains.

About the stamps
On the first two postcards 
Both postcards have the same three stamps. The first, depicting Pochtamtsky bridge, is part of the series Pedestrian Bridges, about which I wrote here. The second is part of a series of four, about Altai Mountains, issued on 18 November, 2004. The last stamp was issued on 2005, when Moscow was one of the five short-listed bids for the 2012 Summer Games.

On the third and the sixth postcard
The two stamps are part of a large series issued for XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014, about which I wrote here.

On the fourth and the seventh postcard
The first stamp, depicting Astrakhan Kremlin (1.00 RUB), is part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here.

The second stamp is part of the serries XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Tourism on the Black Sea Coast of Russia, designed by O. Ivanova and issued on April 27, 2012:
• Parus Rock / Sail Rock (15 RUB) - it's on the postcard (Spanish, Russian)
• Railway station (20 RUB)
• Dendrarium Park (25 RUB)
• Orekhovsky Waterfall (30 RUB)
Each of the tourism stamps has a se-tenant label with descriptive text. The labels exist in six languages: Russian, English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese. At the time of their launch they were introduced as "the most multilingual stamps in the history of the Olympic Winter Games."

On the fifth postcard
The stamp, depicting Nizhniy Novgorod Kremlin, is part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here.

Sochi - Wikipedia
2014 Winter Olympics - Wikipedia
Soch 2014 - Official website

sender 1, 2: Marina
sent from Moskow (Russia), on 17.02.2014
sender 3, 4, 6, 7: Vera Muratova
3, 6: sent from Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk Oblast / Russia), on 18.03.2014 
4, 7: sent from Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk Oblast / Russia), on 31.03.2014 
sender 5: Maria
sent from Krasnodar (Krasnodar Krai / Russia), on 20.02.2014

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