By Marco Di Meo
The 2014 Sochi Olympics will begin this time next year as Russia hosts their first ever Winter Olympics.
Russia has spent $36.7 billion US in preparation for the Winter Games and the total cost is predicted to be $50 billion, making these games the most expensive in history, according to the news agency RIA Novosti.
Beijing’s Summer Olympics in 2008 was the most expensive Olympics at $40 billion.
The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee’s retail licensing agreement with the Russian X5 Retail Group will see the retail sales volume reach an all time record for the Winter Games.
The Games will have over 3,000 athletes in seven sports and 15 disciplines for a total of 98 medal events.
The Sochi games will run from from Feb. 7 – Feb. 23, 2014.
They will be held in brand new venues on the Black Sea Coast, where Sochi is located.
All of the arenas have been built and will be tested frequently before the Olympics, except for the Olympic Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held.
The sports program will introduce 12 new events including men’s and women’s ski slopestyle, men’s and women’s snowboard slopestyle, and men’s and women’s snowboard parallel special slalom.
One of the biggest questions of these Winter Games is whether or not the National Hockey League will allow its players to participate in the men’s ice hockey tournament.
The NHL’s main concern is losing money during a two-week break in the middle of their season.
The NHL has yet to decide but Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals has said publicly that he will allow his Russian superstar, Alex Ovechkin to play for his country in the Olympics regardless of the NHL’s decision.