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11 Interesting Facts About the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

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Susan is a science geek, and if that wasn't enough, she gets all nerdy over technology too. She's also a writer.

Figure skating is one of the most beautiful and graceful sports in the Winter Olympics.

Figure skating is one of the most beautiful and graceful sports in the Winter Olympics.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi involved 15 types of sports taking place in 89 events, including ice skating (my favourite!), skiing, ice hockey, and more.

In this article, you will find 11 interesting facts about the Winter Olympics, covering everything from cost, numbers, facts, and more.

1. Cost

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics cost $51 billion, apparently the most expensive Winter Olympic Games yet. The cost covered the many venues as well as the opening ceremony. This price was even higher than any other Olympic Games—including the 2008 Beijing Summer Games as well as the 2012 London Summer Games.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic flame.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic flame.

2. Torch

The Sochi Olympic torch travelled over 65,000 kilometres in 123 days, transported by 14,000 carriers. This long trip started on October 7, 2013, and concluded during the fantastic opening ceremony. This torch went to some of the most amazing places on earth (and space) including:

  • Europe's highest mountain: Mount Elbrus
  • Outer Space: The torch was blasted into outer space by the Soyuz Rocket.
  • Siberia's Lake Baikal: It went under water in Lake Baikal in Siberia.
  • North Pole: The torches entered the North Pole thanks to a nuclear icebreaker.

The torch weighed 1.8 kg and was less than a metre tall.

This stamp shows the three mascots of Sochi's Winter Olympics.

This stamp shows the three mascots of Sochi's Winter Olympics.

3. Mascots

The Sochi Winter Olympics had 3 mascots, which were chosen by the public during a live television show. The mascots were:

  • Polar Bear
  • European Hare
  • Amur Leopard

4. Participating Countries

There were 88 countries that entered the Games, with each country entering at least one athlete. The countries with the highest number of athletes entering were:

  • France: 105 athletes
  • Finland: 103
  • USA: 230
  • Switzerland: 168
  • South Korea: 70
  • Russia: 225
  • Germany: 152
This map shows the participating countries who entered at least one athlete.

This map shows the participating countries who entered at least one athlete.

The location of Sochi in Russia.

The location of Sochi in Russia.

This is the city of Sochi, seen from the Black Sea.

This is the city of Sochi, seen from the Black Sea.

5. City of Sochi

Sochi has a population of approximately 400,000 people. You may imagine Sochi to have a cold climate with plenty of snow, but it is actually the exact opposite. This city is the "sunny" destination for most Russians and its temperature never really goes under 12 degrees Celsius. Over 2 million tourists visit this city each year.

In the summer, the city has palm trees, beaches, and warm coastlines. Its average temperature is 18-50 degrees Celsius during the daytime. (You can see the logic in this, as it is at the same latitude as Nice in France. I know Nice to be a very warm city, so Sochi must be similar.) It is the cold winds that sometimes blow over the city that make its temperature to go down.

Sochi is the warmest city in history to host the Winter Olympic Games.

6. New Sports

The Sochi Olympics featured seven new sports, including:

  • Figure skating team event: Rather than your usual pair of figure skaters, this event showcases a whole team of figure skaters gliding on the ice together.
  • Women's ski jumping
  • Team relay luge
  • Ski slope style
  • Snowboard slope style
  • Ski half-pipe
  • Mixed relay biathlon

7. Medals

The Sochi Olympic medals featured a stylish and beautiful design that clearly showed a great deal of craftsmanship. I have to say, from all the medals I have seen up until this point, my favourite medals are the ones from Sochi. There was something mystical about the shapes on the medal that made them truly spectacular. The Olympic gold medal contained 525 grams of silver with a 960 hallmark; and 6 grams of gold and a 999 hallmark.

This is the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 bronze medal.

This is the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 bronze medal.

8. Russia

The Sochi Olympics represented the first time that Russia hosted the Winter Games (Moscow hosted the 1980 Summer Games). The 2014 Winter Paralympics were also held in Sochi, where 1,650 athletes from 45 countries were expected to compete.

9. Viewership

How many people watched the Sochi Winter Olympics? Russia's primary news channel predicted that an estimated 3.5 billion people would tune in to the Games—a number that represented half of the total global population.

Approximately 2 billion people viewed Kate Middleton's and Prince William's wedding, so the Russian estimate represented 1.5 billion more. So, for every 7 people you see on the street, at least 4 of them probably watched at least some part of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Now, that's something!

10. Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony kicked off on February 7, 2014. Before the ceremony, officials would not reveal any details about the ceremony's many events.

Some great Russian musicians made their debut during the show, including viola player Yuri Bashmet and conductor Valery Gergiev.

11. Sports

Whatever your tastes and preferences when it comes to Olympic sports, there was sure to be an event for everyone to enjoy watching. The following table lists several popular ones.

SportDescription

Alpine Skiing

Also known as "downhill skiing." Athletes will have to ski down snow mountains.

Biathlon

Racing down snow mountains against their opponents

Figure Skating

My favourite! The contestants have to perform a dance with music and beautiful costumes. Men, women or men and women participate in this event.

Bobsleigh

Going on a bobsled track with a bobsleigh. A very action packed and thrilling event to watch!

Cross-country skiing

 

Curling

Athelets have to slide stones across ice and try to make them land in the given targets.

Free-style skiing

Speed skating is where competitors have to speed skate on ice in an area and are timed.

Ice hockey

A typical match of hockey only on ice!

Luge

Where one person sleds down a snow track and are timed.

Nordic Combined

Skiiers have to compete in both cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Another interesting sport!

Skeleton

The athlete has to sled down an ice track facing down.

Ski jumping

 

Snowboarding

Going down a snow slope whilst doing stunts. A highly entertaining and skilful sport.

Speed Skating

 

Short track speed skating

Multiple skaters have to speed skate over an ice track

© 2014 Susan W

Comments

Julie K Henderson on May 02, 2015:

You are welcome. I've loved watching the Winter Olympics for many years. My dad still talks about how much my sister and I enjoyed watching figure skating when we were growing up.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on May 02, 2015:

Julie - Thanks for the awesome comments, I'm really glad that you enjoyed reading the facts. I really liked watching the Sochi Olympics too.

Julie K Henderson on May 01, 2015:

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Sochi Winter Olympics, and I also enjoyed these fun facts. Voted up.

Ted from The World on February 26, 2014:

They are finished and the $51 billion has now officially been wasted. God help us all! ;-)

Ashok Goyal from 448 Dalima Vihar Rajpura 140401 Punjab India on February 26, 2014:

It is really great! I wish I would have camped there and my countrymen participated in the great even. Can anyone tell at which channel these winter olympics are beamed live to watch. Sharing with friends.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 20, 2014:

Hi Ted! Glad to see you stop by. I know! The amount of money you could donate to charity with $51 billion is phenomenal. I think the world's problems with starvation and hunger would finally come to an end should we have given them that huge sum of money. It really is a pity.

Hi Victoria!

Thank you for your wonderful comments. Glad you liked the pictures, I like them too myself. Especially the gold medal and the snow-capped mountains.

Hi Esmewol!

I'm glad you liked this, thank you for the positive comments.

Hi Total Health,

Thank you for commenting, I agree. The amount of lives you could save with $51 is huge, it really is a pity that all that money was put towards the Winter Olympics.

Hi Deepakraj!

Glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping by.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 20, 2014:

Hi Crafty To The Core!

Thanks for the read and for the comments. Figure skating has to be one of my favourite sports, I love it. :)

Hi Cassy!

I agree! The gold medal is absolutely beautiful and so well designed. It is probably my favourite medal so far. Thanks for the comment. :)

Mena Deepakraj Sharma from Mangaluru on February 19, 2014:

good info..

TotalHealth from Hermosa Beach, CA on February 19, 2014:

Sochi cost $51 billion?! That's outrageous considering how many people around the world are starving and without proper clothing and shelter. - Nice hub, however. ; )

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on February 19, 2014:

I enjoyed reading the interesting facts about this year's winter Olympics. It's obvious you did a lot of research. Good job!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2014:

Very informative. Enjoyed the photos, too. Congrats on hub of the day. Woo hoo!!!

Ted from The World on February 19, 2014:

Ahh to think of all the hunger and poverty you could eradicate with over $50,000,000,000. What a great world we live in when a two week event costs the same as saving several million lives.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 19, 2014:

Hi melpor,

I am glad to see you drop by, thanks for reading and commenting. The Sochi Games have been a fantastic Olympics and I thoroughly enjoyed viewing them.

Hi RTalloni,

Thank you for the congrats and the wonderful comments. I am glad you liked reading this hub.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 19, 2014:

Hi Cre8tor,

Thank you for the lovely comments, I'm glad you dropped by. I know, Sochi has been a very interesting Olympics and has a sense of originality to it, like no other. I have enjoyed the sports this year, especially the figure skating.

Hi The Bat,

Thank you for the comment and for the read. Interesting! I would not have imagined a tropical country to have entered the Winter Olympics but it seems that with a lot of practice, anyone can. It is just like Jamaica's bobsled team from "Cool Runnings". I love that film. Glad to see you drop by.

Hi Chitrangada,

Thank you for such great comments, tweeting and for your congrats. I appreciate everything. I was pretty happy when I found out that I got HOTD, could not believe it. :)

CassyLu1981 from Spring Lake, NC on February 19, 2014:

LOVE the design of the gold medal this year. Excellent hub with tons of information on the winter Olympics! GO TEAM USA! ;)

CraftytotheCore on February 19, 2014:

I haven't had any time to watch the Olympics this year. I love figure skating too. Thank you for the summary here. It helps me catch up.

RTalloni on February 19, 2014:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this enthusiastic look at some Sochi Olympics facts.

Melvin Porter from New Jersey, USA on February 19, 2014:

Good Hub and congratulations for being chosen Hub of the Day!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 19, 2014:

Very nice and informative hub and just in time!

Congratulations for HOTD! Voted up and Tweeted!

theBAT on February 19, 2014:

Proud to say that we have a participant to this Olympics though we are a tropical country. Nice hub!

Dan Reed on February 19, 2014:

Congrats on HOTD! This has been an interesting Olympics and no doubt has some interesting things about it and where it's being held. Thanks for sharing!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 15, 2014:

Hi easylearningweb,

Thanks for dropping by and for the comment. My favourite sport is the figure skating and the team skating is interesting too. I just love the music and the sheer skill of the skaters who dance so gracefully. It's beautiful.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 15, 2014:

Hi Christy! Thank you so much for your kind comments, I'm glad you liked it. Yes, the price is utterly outrageous, I still cannot believe it. I suppose building that new village in the mountains 30 kilometres from Sochi must have cost the main chunk. It was nice to see you drop by, thanks again!

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on February 12, 2014:

My all-time favorite is the figure skating, and for the 2014 Olympic games, they added a new team figure skating event, which adds to fun and excitement of watching!

Christy Kirwan from San Francisco on February 12, 2014:

What a great Hub! I had no idea the Olympics were so expensive! $51 BILLION, yikes!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 11, 2014:

Hi Raymond,

Thanks for reading this. I am glad that you enjoyed reading this hub. Yes, I hope that the athletes will be safe, I am sure they will be.

Hi toytasting,

Thank you for reading this hub, glad you liked it.

Toy Tasting from Mumbai on February 11, 2014:

It was great to know so much about the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. Thanks for sharing the information :)

Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on February 10, 2014:

Quite a lot of concerns have been raised about the Russia's human rights situation and their LGBT unfriendly demeanour.

Nevertheless I hope the athletes have a trouble free competition and that the best may win.

Thanks for this interesting hub.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 09, 2014:

Hi Suhail!

Thanks for your lovely comments and for voting up, I appreciate you voting this up. I'm glad you liked it. I love the Winter Olympics too, there is something about the ice and snow at this time of year that makes it a magical event. I like bobsleigh too, I'm looking forward to the Jamaican bobsledders (of Cool Runnings!).

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on February 08, 2014:

I am a lover of winter activities and winter Olympics. Hence, a very timely article for me. I enjoy all events, but my ultimate favorite has to be speed skating and team relay skating, with bobsleigh not far behind.

Thanks for the timely article. Voted up and found awesome and interesting!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 08, 2014:

Hi Ellie!

Thank you for the lovely comments, and for voting this interesting. They started today with the snowboarding. I'm looking forward to the ice skating.

Ellie Shay on February 07, 2014:

Great job on this! I had no idea they had added seven new events. Voted interesting!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 07, 2014:

Hi! Thank you so much for your lovely comments, I really appreciate them. I'm glad you liked this, thank you for voting up and interesting.

I am looking forward to the Games too especially the figure skating, bobsleigh (excited to see the Jamaican bobsledders) and ski jumping. Yeah, Switzerland have a huge number of athletes, considering their small size. I have also found the fact that the USA have more athletes than Russia to be very interesting, seems like USA are going to get loads of gold medals!

Yves on February 06, 2014:

This article is fabulous. I hadn't paid much attention to all the Olympic hoopla, but now I'm excited to tune in tomorrow for the games! I especially enjoyed your #4, the actual number of participating counties and the number of athletes participating in each one. Who knew Switzerland had so many athletes? Up & interesting!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 03, 2014:

Hi Paul!

It is so nice to see you drop by, thank you for your wonderful comments! I've never skated before...I think I would be a disaster but well done to you and your family for giving it a go.

I really love watching figure skating, it's probably my favourite sport in the Winter Olympics. I am looking forward to the Opening Ceremony this Friday...enjoy!

Thanks again for reading this...I can't believe one of HubPages' founders just commented on one of my hubs!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 03, 2014:

Hi Flourish Anyway!

I'm so glad you liked this, thank you for your lovely comments. I love figure skating too! Luge is also an interesting sport to watch, I am looking forward to the Games and the Opening Ceremony. Thanks for your vote up, I really appreciate it. :)

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 03, 2014:

Hi Writer Fox!

Thanks so much for dropping by and for reading this. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it...you are like me, I love figure skating! It is so effortless to watch and is simply...magical. I can't wait! Yes, the USA have quite a large team this year and I was surprised by that too. I'm sure it will be a great event, thanks again!

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on February 02, 2014:

We've been skiing and skating quite a bit as a family this year. Looking forward to the games starting. Thanks for the facts. Interesting stuff.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 02, 2014:

Hi Jodah!

Thank you so much for sharing this, I am glad you enjoyed it. I can't wait for the Games to begin, its starting this coming Friday.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 02, 2014:

Figure skating and the luge are some of my favorites. I always enjoy the winter games more than the summer ones. This was a very enjoyable hub to read! Voted up +++ and pinning.

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on February 02, 2014:

Figure Skating is my favorite competition to watch. The skaters make it seem so effortless. I was surprised to learn that the US has more athletes participating in the Olympics than Russia! Sounds like it will be a great event this year. Enjoyed your article!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 02, 2014:

Hi Kalmiya!

Thank you for reading this and for the lovely comment! I'm glad you like the video, I really liked it myself so I thought I should include it with this. It really shows the heart of the mountains 50 km from Sochi. It is a beautiful area.

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 02, 2014:

Hi Sheri!

Thanks for dropping by and for commenting. If you like skating, you are like me, I love figure skating! There is something about the costumes and the music and the talent of the athletes that makes it so special. I think that it should be safe...hopefully.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 01, 2014:

Great article to promote the Sochi Winter Olympics and wet the appetite of sports lovers among us. Voted up and shared.

Kalmiya from North America on February 01, 2014:

That's a neat trailer video on the Olympics. I hope they don't have attacks and just wonderful games. The Sochi area is beautiful and I look forward to catching glimpses on telecasts between events!

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 01, 2014:

That was interesting! My hubby is very worried about terrorist attacks at the winter Olympics...hope everyone is safe! I love to watch the Olympics, especially the skating. Great hub!

Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on February 01, 2014:

Hi Bill!

Thank you so much for commenting and for the read. Yes, I can't wait for them to start either. I am looking forward to the Opening Ceremony and to the figure skating (I love figure skating!) I suppose the Winter Olympics brighten up the dull season of Winter.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 31, 2014:

I was wondering when we would see one of these articles. I happen to love the Winter Olympics and can hardly wait for them to start. Thanks for wetting my appetite.

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