IOC gives nod to Sochi changes
The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday approved venue and transportation changes for the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, reported dpa.
The changes were given the nod during a visit of IOC coordination commission chairman Jean-Claude Killy and Olympic Games director Gilbert Felli in Moscow with Sochi officials.
The IOC said in a press release that a new biathlon venue in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster completed the change of venues for the Games which were made for environmental considerations.
In the transportation changes, a rail link between snow and ice venues will have one instead of two tracks and a highway three lanes instead of four.
The changes were recommended by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, who as the nation's president at the time was a mastermind in Sochi's successful bid.
"The new locations for these venues don't just provide the athletes with the best possible facilities, they will also ensure that any environmental impact is kept to a minimum," said Killy.
But the Frenchman also urged the Russians to waste no further time in the preparations for the Games which basically have to start from scratch in the Black Sea region.
"Time is short and there is no time to be lost if these ambitious proposals are to be ready in time," warned Killy.
The Sochi organizing committee CEO Dmitry Chernychenko said: "All construction work will be completed according to schedule. In fact, construction work in several venues within the mountain cluster is ahead of schedule."