Archive for the ‘Winter Olympics’ Category

Compete like the U.S. Ski Team or Against it?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Within the last year or so, Vail Resorts has come out with the third generation of its mobile and web-based ski and snowboard application called Epic Mix.  This application for phones will provide skiers with a way to follow ski racing at six of the seven resorts across California and Colorado.  With a hope of achieving a large use of this application, Rob Katz, the Vail Resorts chairman and chief executive officer says:

We created EpicMix to bring together the digital and physical experience of skiing and riding and make it easy to share your story with friends and family.

With this product, racers will be able to automatically compare their race times with U.S. Ski Team athlete Lindsey Vonn, with gold, silver and bronze medals that can then be posted on the users twitter or facebook.  Katz says:

Working with World Champion ski racer Lindsey Vonn, we have completely redesigned how skiers can fully utilize the latest digital technology to compare themselves against the very best, seamlessly track and share all of their accomplishments and compete against racers from six world-class resorts.

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2012/08/22/vail-resorts-lindsey-vonn-use-social-media-to-get-kids-into-ski-racing/

By skiers and ski racers using this application, they are able to feel connected to the infamous Lindsey Vonn by comparing times and receiving medals.  By Lindsey Vonn not only being looked at as a role model that skiers and ski racers can connect to, she help design the application knowing what type of things young racers like to connect to.  Lindsey Vonn says:

Growing up racing, I always looked forward to telling the stories of my races and being able to track my progress and see how my friends were doing. The opportunity to make that happen using the latest technology in social media is absolutely the right next step for ski racing and I was thrilled to be able to work with Vail Resorts to make this happen.

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2012/08/22/vail-resorts-lindsey-vonn-use-social-media-to-get-kids-into-ski-racing/

Ways in which that this product could be made better is advertising it during World Cup Races, or advertisements on the Vail Resorts twitter and facebook pages.  More skiers, ski racers, and skiers of the Vail Resorts area will have a higher opportunity to being exposed to EpicMix and the product could therefor make more money.

Sustainable Sochi? At Least It’s Not In Beijing

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The last three Olympics have been hosted by two countries that are some of the largest perpetrators of carbon emissions and production, Canada and China, and now Russia is going to  try and host the games with a sustainable vision. It is hard to believe that these countries can keep an agreement of long term sustainability when they all have halted climate change agreements and increased drilling in places like the arctic circle. If Russia is not sustainable on a national level, can they be sustainable in Sochi?

With a population of 343,334 in 2010 it is 3,000 people smaller than Vancouver was in 2010, but Vancouver is a port city and Sochi is a resort town on the shores of the black sea. If Sochi is going to be sustainable in the short or long term they must plan accordingly for the increased tourism both during and after the games. An increase in tourism is often associated with the “backlash” of the Olympics but this does not necessarily mean the City’s population will grow at an exceeded rate. Many cities (i.e. Johannesburg) hosting International events like the World Cup and Olympics have spent economic and environmental resources building facilities that cannot be supported or used in the years afterward.  In other words they overestimate the development that their city is capable of.

If Sochi commits to limiting excess infrastructure, a sustainable games can be achievable because it is resort city that is used to and can adapt to a short term increase in population. Their short term success is also boosted by the implementation of the Sustainable Management System which outlines thoughtful impact assessment and a responsible plan-do-check-act process. Information on the SMS can be found below

http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/progress/

 

 

 

We Have A Sochiation People…

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

There is no questioning the fact that the city of Sochi, along with the Russian government, carry a sizable load on their shoulders in regards to their goals for sustainability of the 2014 Winter Olympics. There are numerous aspects, all of which must be dealt with in the most delicate of ways. Though all of them pose as excellent topics for debate, for time’s sake, only a few of the more prominent subjects will be covered.

When taking on the task of brining the entire world together, I think some environmental impact is unavoidable. If an area has decided to house representatives from around the world, there will obviously have to be some urban expansion. However, if urban expansion is necessary, it would be in everybody’s best interest to go about it in a sustainable way. This way, people don’t make the Olympics a martyr for environmental and cultural degradation.

After browsing the Sochi 2014 website, I definitely left with an optimistic outlook. Initially it looked like they might be in over their heads, but they have some good ideas that may actually work. Holding a competition for the all the companies involved that coaxes them to be as sustainable as possible with the construction of the the Olympic grounds, is as good an idea as it gets. Why limit the competition solely to the athletes?

Also, it obviously is good for the local economy and will provide many jobs for the building and maintenance of the grounds. It is crucial however, that they hire local workers and companies for this project. It is also important that they not displace lower income families from the area due to its increased prestige. These aspects are important things to consider because after the Olympics are over, the people of Sochi aren’t going to want to use the facilities if there is an underlying resentment towards the grounds.

Lastly, being aware of culture and diversity is the most fundamental part of the Olympics. Without culture and diversity there would be no Olympics. It is the essence that created the games, and must be respected on all fronts. Though certain populations may not agree with and appreciate some of Russia’s laws and values and Russia may not be respecting other cultural values, it is important that we show respect in their country, so we may receive the same in return. After all, it’s only two weeks, it’s nothing permanent.

Sochi and all the worlds Olympic athletes have hard times ahead in regards to sustainably handling the Olympics. However, these hardships are a necessity for the continuation of one of the greatest events in history. An event that reminds us, we are all explorers of the same planet.

All in better aims for Sochi2014

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Sochi2014 will be held in Russia during February of next year; with this said, the Sochi Organizing Committee of the Olympic & Paralympic games have set goals or aims to make this event one that will be remembered and be the most compact. The strategies, these being vision, legacy, the Russian Diamond, brand, sustainable development, and games impact, seem to be achievable, ones more likely than others. One of the main objectives that the Committee has set is “uniting all individuals and organizations involved in Russia’s first ever winter Games…., the Games leaving a rich legacy for both Sochi and Russia as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.” Also to that, it has given the importance to meeting the needs to those with disabilities.  http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/

The vision of the Games is to “express the spirit of modern Russia” along with that a positive change. With the Games being held in Russia, many spectators will be able to see the country and what it has to offer. This may easily bring new ideas into the country and work that into the government. The legacy gives in to the vision of a positive change for the development of the country bringing social and economic changes along with richness to the values of the Olympics and Paralympics, this making it achievable to the sustainability for a positive change to the country of Russia. http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/vision/

One of the strategies that Sochi 2014 is planning to embark is to be the first to embody “peaceful, productive dialogue between peoples”, having the to commitment to innovate. This strategy of the Sochi brand seems to be one of the more likely to be achievable because of the reasoning that the Committee gives in order to reach this aim, the brand promoting:

    • “A country rich in history, embarking on a successful future,” where it will combine the past and the future with a new generation for the Games.
    • “A country open to opportunities and the passion to make dreams a reality;” Sochi is planning to help young people learn about the sport and become engaged on learning something new and hopefully keep this participation in sport long term.
    • “A country that is committed to equality and celebrates diversity;” with people in disabilities in mind, Russia will try to improve the attitudes towards them, this by giving them importance and meeting their needs.

http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/brand/

The sustainability to achieve in making the winter Olympics and Paralympics a spectacular event has set 6 main areas of activity that with the right aim are able to be achieved. These 6 areas are: healthy lifestyle, harmony with nature, barrier-free environment, economic prosperity, modern technologies, and culture and national values. The Committee will do youth programs, giving them the education of how to have and maintain a healthy lifestyle among the youth. Setting programs to teach people about environmental protection and sport is how the Games will achieve harmony with nature and barrier-free environment. Keeping people with disabilities in mind, Sochi is building buildings, public transport and other facilities to meet the needs of those and keeping this a barrier-free environment. The Games will be using new technology and infrastructure to making it a new generation for the future. It will incorporate its history into the Games, showing its culture to many spectators.

The Russian Diamond will help reinforce its goals or aims in order to achieve them. The Russian Diamond consists of nine elements, these being excellence, efficiency, integration, hospitality, unity, uniqueness, respect, legacy, and harmony. This will help in achieve what Sochi has set to do, to make this event with a memorable legacy. The elements has in mind to meet the needs of others, providing unity, uniqueness, hospitality.  The Committee has planned out well what their plans are for Sochi2014. With this, they will be able to achieve those aims.

Can Sochi maintain the Legacy for the Olympic and Parlympic Winter Games?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have high expectations and sustainable development plan in place to make these games a success. I believe the most difficult process of this is to maintain the Olympic Game Legacy as well as Sochi, Russia contributing their own uniqueness during their host of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The Games in Sochi are going to be highly innovative Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, that will express the spirit of modern Russia and bring with them sustainable, positive change for the whole country.

They want any participants, competitors and billion of TV viewers to come away with a positive impression of the Games and of Russia leaving a rich legacy for Sochi, Russia. They are planning for more than short-term their long term-goals are to be a positive contribution to their economy, cultural and environmental development of the entire Krasnodar Region. There are many examples of how the games have transformed an image of a city and can be an overall positive experience for these cities.

This rich legacy – material and non-material – remains in the host country for many years, which is why many nations compete for the right to host the Games. For the winning country, the Games are a project of national value.

The Russian Diamond is of high importance as well when talking about the values of the games. They consist of

  1. Excellence
  2. Efficiency
  3. Integration
  4. Hospitality
  5. Unity
  6. Uniqueness
  7. Respect
  8. Legacy
  9. Harmony

Sochi 2014 Organizing committee has 11 strategic objectives in place to be the most successful and they have 6 main areas of activity in the field of sustainability for the preparation of staging the Games in 2014 they are

  1. Healthy Lifestyle – develop mass and professional sport, promote healthy lifestyles, and make it possible for people with disabilities to participate in sports.
  2. Harmony with Nature – Minimal impact on climate, zero waste games and enlightenment games.
  3. Barrier-free Environment – accessibility standards and requirements that are imposed on the host-city of the Games by the IOC and the IPC.
  4. Economic Prosperity – develop job markets, develop Sochi as a mountain climate resort and sports center at an international level and help stabilize the economic development.
  5. Modern Technologies – use of innovative technology solutions, development of a legal normative base, distribution of cutting-edge experience in the area of organizing sports and mass events and the perfection of approaches and practices in the management of large projects at a federal level.
  6. Culture and National Values – maintain culture diversity, maintaining culture legacy and develop patriotism and the feeling of national pride.

With all of these procedures and emphasize on these values and preparation steps I believe Sochi, Russia can host an excellent Olympic and Paralymic Winter Games.

Sochi Needs Help – Volunteers to the Rescue!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

volunteers_facts_3_03http://vol.sochi2014.com/en/about/facts/

Let us take a moment to understand that any olympics could not have been completed without the help of people volunteering. They volunteer their time, their money and their pride to come together to help the hosting country. People who volunteer are part of the social dimensions under the sustainability and tourism section from the book. Why people volunteer are for a variety of reasons; some just want to volunteer to be a part of the nostalgia sport tourism and be connected to the hallmark sporting event, and belong to a sense of community. In the book it states,

“In recent years, there has been a growing focus on the social benefits of event sport tourism for communities. Many believe that the social benefits are the true legacy of hosting a megaevent.” – Pedersen et. al, 2011.

Since Sochi is hosting the Olympics, Russia wants to take pride in making sure that they provide their volunteers with the top-of-the-line qualities they can benefit from. We are humans, we need to belong; and what better way to feel you belong to a community by becoming a volunteer.

With the Sochi Olympics, they want to select 25,000 from the 180,000 plus applicants who so desperately wanted to become a volunteer. How does one become a volunteer for Sochi, from the website it explains,

 For the first time in the history of the Games, volunteers will be trained not only in the host city, but across the whole country, in 17 cities at 26 volunteer centers…. The organizers of the 2014 Games face the task of giving the volunteers the necessary knowledge and skills within a very tight schedule and of inspiring the volunteers to make the Sochi Olympics the best in history.  Sochi website, 2013. http://vol.sochi2014.com/en/news/11/8987/

Sochi is in good sustainability progress by selecting people who want to volunteer, and are worthy.

Sochi 2014: Too Much, Too Fast?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Sochi 2014 will be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. The last time in history that the Russian location hosted an Olympic was when the Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

sochi
Sochi want to make the best possible use of the opportunities created by hosting the Olympics and the project to ensure and enhance the long-term sustainable development of the city and Russia as a whole.

 

the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee announced the launch of the second Sustainability Award «Gateway to the Future!», and the start of the third stage of the Green Building Recognition Program — a contest for investors and operating companies of the Olympic venues.

The «Gateway to the Future!» prize will be awarded in 10 categories.

  1. Best complex project

  2. Best project for youth engagement

  3. Best innovative project

  4. Best project in «Healthy living»

  5. Best project in «Harmony with nature»

  6. Best project in «Barrier-free World»

  7. Best project in «Economic prosperity»

  8. Best project in «Modern technologies»

  9. Best project in «Culture and national values»

  10.  Best Company of the year

 

FUN FACT:

Sochi 2014: Russia to take Olympic torch on spacewalk for first time in history

 

The Olympics wants to supply a positive change in the social, economic and environmental factors of this country. Environmental Support for the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games <<Youtube video (youtube button didn’t work..)

Although, these Olympics are viewed to be very “green” and environmentally friendly, there are some controversy within the process of setting up the events. For Sochi Olympics, Russia Dumps Tons of Construction Waste In Illegal Landfills. With these high standards, it seems Sochi is falling short of the original environmentally safe pitch. Dumping waste into illegal landfills will negatively affect the surrounding locations, opposite of what the original goal was. Also having thousands of people flying into the  remote location in Russia is also a significant impact on the area.

 

 

So,chi? Or So, no? 2014 games could be in the dumps

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Sochi has set up a list of criteria to meet in order to not only be ready for the 2014 games but also produce a sustainable economy, environment, and social sphere after commencement of the games.

The project is not a standalone action/event but it has a mid-term/long-term planning horizon, the project contributes to create tools and assets that will work and have a long-term positive impact in the area of project implementation.

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

In terms of the projects they have set up to help with the sustainability plan, this includes objectives such as youth engagement, healthy living, and harmony with nature. Of these I feel the healthy living objective will prove to be the most sustainable. In this project Sochi has come up with a “Green Marathon” where people of all ages and fitness levels can compete, which promotes physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Along with running the marathons the event consists of trees being planted all along the trail to renew resources and keep the environment prospering.

The project enabled all participants, regardless of their age or fitness levels, to feel part of the Olympic Games and make their own personal contribution to the preservation of the natural heritage of Russia.

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

The part of Sochi’s sustainability plan that has shown to have controversy involves their Zero-Waste pledge for the building of and during the Games.  In October of 2013 some IOC members found that there was illegal dumping of concrete slabs and other waste in Akhshtyr, a landfill just north of Sochi. The illegal dumping in this region could cause water contamination to the host city, hence why it has caused so much concern. The local organizations recognized in this event were supposedly fined, says the Sochi committee and Russian organizers. With this I don’t believe that Sochi is being honest in their complete effort towards their sustainability plan.

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/ioc-members-urge-action-sochi-dump-report-20743588

One of Sochi’s sustainability projects that I find most interesting is their Beer Watch project. In this, they’re monitoring compliance with the rules of selling beer; it has been running throughout Russia since 2008.

The initiative seeks to limit the access of minors to alcohol, and involves retail outlets across the country displaying a special sticker sign, «Are you 18? Prove it!»

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

Part of the goal is to identify sellers who are not obeying the laws and get them out of the business. Those who do follow the rules are encouraged to sell <Beer Watch> souvenirs to encourage others to follow the rules as well. This project has involved over 160 tests of around 1800 retail outlets and dozens of violations were discovered. I think this project is not only healthy because of discouraging under age drinking but can be very sustainable past the 2014 Games. It has a simple goal with many ways to achieve that goal either by getting rid of those who don’t obey the law or simply having cameras to make sure all retailers card the buyers. With it’s simplicity, I believe sustainability will be achieved.

Sochi has done an excellent job to map out all of their goals of sustainability and discuss the ways they are trying to achieve those goals. Although some projects may need a second look or follow up to make sure Russian committees and Sochi are complying, I feel most of their projects are going according to plan and will be sustainable past the games in 2014.

A Hit or Miss????

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Are the plans for Sochi 2014 achievable? Sochi’s plan for hosting the Winter Olympics has six different plans in mind. They start with healthy living, barrier-free world, modern technologies, in harmony with nature, economic prosperity, and finally culture and national values.

For starters I believe the healthy living plan is a great idea. I really agree that with the hosting of the Winter Olympics it should bring motivation to locals, children and participants in sports and physical activity. In my opinion if I knew Durango was going to host the Winter Olympics, you better believe I would want to be come more involved with participating in these sports or just to simply improve my physical fitness level. I also totally agree that medical services will rise in quality and bring forth more attention.

On the barrier-free world I can also see this plan working out. I have worked with people and children that have disabilities. It is remarkable how their attitude changes so drastically when they realize that they can also participate in the same activities that all the others can. I believe we  can all work together to help these unfortunate people understand that their importance in life, especially sport, is just as important as anyone else.

With the face paced growth of technology I completely believe that their aspect of modern technologies will work . In the technology world almost anything is possible. These new advancements of the UIS portal is a fantastic idea it can help participants and spectators, internationally, be able to easily make their stay a less of a hassle.

In harmony with nature is one of the most important steps I believe in the plan. It should be mandatory at all big sporting events like these to make rules and regulations on how much of an impact any set up can take on the environment. Nothing would make a person more upset than if a huge event like this was supposed to help their local economy but instead it completely destroyed their scenery and surrounding environment.

The last step of the plan I agree with is the economic prosperity. The object of this step is to help the local economy as much as possible. This means new jobs, volunteer movement and the upbringing of more business to local companies. If it works according to plan the place of Sochi should see a huge economic gain.

The last step of the plan I am questionable about. When bringing up cultural and national believes it is a touchy subject. Some countries care so strongly about their culture that any  new interruptions to that can cause some tension. If someone has a set belief on something it is very difficult to change their mind.

In this YouTube video it shows just a glimpse of what creations they are going to and have added to the location to make it easier for spectators and participants. It shows the technology part of the plan does not seem to be an issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uluVnk7kBgE

Over all I believe Sochi’s plan for the Winter Olympics in 2014 is a great idea. If the plan works it could be a huge economic and intellectual gain for the area.

A Sustainable Sochi….?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Can Sochi reach sustainability by the 2014 Winter Olympic Games?

Yes, I believe Sochi can and will reach a level of sustainability by February 2014. In particularly, the “Games with minimal impact on climate” seems to be a very achievable goal, considering the fact that most of the current issues or environmental challenges in Sochi are a direct result of the current system being extremely outdated.

One way in which Sochi can reduce their impact on the environment is by updating their current transportation system. A number of their current environmental issues such as air pollution and poor traffic flow, will be reduced in severity by constructing a newer transportation system.

In addition to updating their transportation system, their plans to update their waste management systems will also play a huge role in being more environmentally friendly. The reduction of water consumption, implementing water collection techniques, recycling, and the construction of waste water drainage systems will only further reduce the effects the games have on the environment.

The next prong to the three prong sustainability approach is economic sustainability. Through the construction of new sports facilities, roads and railways, hotels, athlete village builds, as well as many other construction projects, Sochi should see a good result in their economic growth.

Taking into consideration that one of the proposed plans was to ensure:

“the predominant us of local and regional labor resources, materials, components, and equipment”.

http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/economy/

One would expect at minimum, a decent amount of economic growth for the city of Sochi.

In addition, according to the Sochi 2014 website:

“the Olympic Project has already created and supported 239 thousand new jobs”

(http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/economy/).

With that type of job growth, it would almost seem impossible not to see the economy around Sochi, strengthen.

The last factor of the sustainability model is the social aspect. The promotion of leading a healthy lifestyle is occurring and their goals for this aspect are also quite achievable. With the construction of new sport facilities it will allow Sochi to host large scale events after the completion of the Olympics and Paralympics. By hosting large sports event, a good portion of the cities population will gain motivation to participate in sports and physical activities. Both of these are steps to living a healthier life. The new facilities will also allow for a broaden sports participation options.

It appears as though Sochi can, and if all goes as planned, will reach some stage of sustainability. The level of sustainability reached will all depend on how well the planners execute the proposed plans.