Archive for the ‘Winter Olympics’ Category

Sochi: Is it worth it to host the Olympic Games?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

I think the plans for sustainability are achievable because they are using the most of the opportunities that they are given and principles to follow a design to be able to have sustainable development. This development creates positive change within a country, because countries gain many positive aspects when they host the Olympic Games in their city.

Sustainability means creating long-term positive change in the social, economic and environmental spheres, based on effective use of the resource potential for all Russians both today and tomorrow.

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

Hosting Olympic Games allow cities to gain potential and change in their economic standings, along with the environment and social aspects. The economic aspect is affected because there are many people and tourists that come to watch and participate in the Olympics. The hotels, businesses, and restaurants are all positively impacted by the Olympic people.

Sustainable development is a process based on the combination of economic growth, social development and environmental protection. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present, while not jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

http://www.sochi2014.com/en/media/news/44665/

Sustainable development is a smart plan and definitely something needed to help the countries that host the Olympic Games. It focuses greatly on the three aspects: economic, environment, and social.

Is it worth hosting the Olympics?

Approximately 80% of cities in which the Games were held after 1972 are now among the 200 most popular cities in the world. The Games in 1992 helped Barcelona to become one of the world’s major tourist centres.

http://www.sochi2014.com/en/media/news/44665/

I definitely think that it is worth it hosting the Olympic games because it helps with the economic status of a country, especially when statistics show that 80% of cities after the Olympic games have become the most popular in the world. Knowing this as well as all of the sustainable developments that the organizing committee puts together goes to show that all of the plans for sustainability are achievable.

Olympics Sustainability Implementations

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

In recent years, the Olympic Games have developed into one of the most recognized mega-international sporting events. The increasing number of cities that bid to host the Olympics and the increasing funds invested in Olympic bids show that local leaders perceive the securing of such an event as an opportunity to improve economic and social aspects of a city or region. Through the rising investments triggered by staging the
Games through raging  entertaining sporting events and shows. Shows by example in Beijing, the Lighting and Exiting ceremony were a success. The host cities in this aspect perceive to provide opportunities for urban development and rises in opportunities. Which could in turn give positive encouragement and implementation on sustainability.

“The Sochi 2014 Games will not only rejuvenate the city of Sochi, but will also contribute to the economic, cultural and environmental development of the entire Krasnodar Region. They will make it possible to create new standards in ecology, strategy and corporate governance. In other words, Sochi will become an example to other cities of Russia and the world. The Games in Sochi will leave behind an invaluable legacy, whose benefits will be utilized by Russian citizens long after the Games themselves become history”

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

Aspects such as these could make better improvements on developments  and incentives to provide for venues to encourage more sustainability features. Features like the Green Building Recognition Program could be a good start to having these programs provide more ways to encourage sustainability options.

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

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

Sochi 2014…push in the right direction or pushing too hard?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The Sochi Organizing Committee stages and prepares for the 2014 Olympic Games.  The purpose of the committee is to make a large amount of opportunities from the Games in Sochi for keeping alive long-term development in the area.  While preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the Organizing Committee sees sustainability to mean creating positive changes in the area socially, economically and environmentally.  They believe that this can be done by the resources available.  For the committee to achieve the sustainability they strive for, six main areas of topics will prepare for the stagings of the event.  These six topics include: healthy lifestyle, harmony with nature, barrier-free environment, economic prosperity, modern technologies and culture and national values.  To be able to reach these six topics, a program of action in the field of sustainability within the Olympic project for 2011-2014 has been created. http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/

 

The six topics to achieve sustainability are good topics to start to find achievement.  Unfortunately, it seems as though some of the topics may be more attainable than others as well as realistic.  Economic Prosperity absolutely has the possibility to achieve its goals.  The Olympic Games is a celebration of sports and events that brings the entire world together in competition.  To be able to see first hand the best of the best compete against one another is an incredible opportunity and site to see.  Since people love watching the Games, it will bring greater numbers in population to the place in which it is held, Sochi.  The Organizing Committee sees this as a huge opportunity to “ensure long term sustainable development and prosperity of the city of Sochi, the Krasnodar region and all of Russia.”  They hope to see this as providing a more stable economic development for the area which can develop the job market.  In preparation for the Games, new roads, railways, and other types of transportation opportunities are arising.  This infrastructure and new venues will allow for Sochi to develop as a city, but for the development of Russia as well.

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

 

The area of modern technologies is an area that can be achieved by the committee.  With the progress that as been made through technology in the past years, broadcasting through media and the technological devices that run it have allowed for better footage and coverage of the event.  The Organizing Committee says:

“The technological solutions of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will provide high quality services to all of their clients: The Olympic and Paralympic Families, athletes, media, Games personnel, the spectators at the stadiums and the international audience of the Games.”

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

 

Topics such as healthy living will be very difficult to achieve.  This will be very difficult to accomplish because of personal lifestyle and decisions that people make individually.  The Organizing Committee says that they want to make healthy eating, stop making smoking and drinking popular, and help increase the physical activity level of a person.  The Games is a time of celebration of sport and competition across the world.  In times of celebration, people tend to enjoy smoking and drinking, which will make it very difficult to become an activity in minority.  Trying to make people change their current ways of living by asking them to increase their physical activity and decrease the amount of alcohol and smoking is nearly impossible.  If people want to change, they will.  Promoting a healthy lifestyle at the Games would be beneficial because it would be informative, but it would not be pushing people in directions that they do not want to go.

 

In conclusion, it appears as though the Organizing Committee has some great ideas for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.  Unfortunately, some topics would appear to be incredibly difficult, for it pushes people in directions that they are not ready for.  Some types of change are greater and more significant than others, and because of this people have to want to see that change.

Mother Russia tries to be sustainable, also soc(h)ially???

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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General Information

The 2014 Winter Olympics or the 22nd Winter Olympics will take place from the 7th to the 23th February 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The Olympics and 2014 Paralympics are being structured and organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC), which was established on October 2, 2007 by the Russian Olympic Committee, the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports, and the Administration of the City of Sochi (wikipedia.org).

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The map above shows the location of the Russian state Krasnodar Krai (red area). Sochi which is located in Krasnodar Krai, is situated on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia and Russia.

Sustainability

Sustainability consists of three-pronged elements, which are the environment, the economic and social (cultural) well-being (Pedersen, Parks, Quarterman & Thibault, 2011, p.238).

Social Objectives of Sochi 2014

The Sochi Organizing Committee focuses on promoting a “healthy lifestyle” within the community of Sochi and Russia. Therefore it main focus lies on the creation of conditions to make it possible for people with disabilities to engage in sport and to develop medical support for professional sport, employees and participants of the mass events. To achieve these goals, the Sochi Organizing Committee concentrates on physical education to increase the knowledge of the importance of physical activities and to make mass sport popular. This education focuses especially on children and the youth. One of the educational purposes is to teach the youth about a healthy nutrition, and the dangers of smoking and alcohol. Moreover another committee’s stated task is to increase the physical activity of people with disabilities (http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/life/).

In my opinion the educational objective and the objective of focusing on the sport participation of people with disabilities are two achievable goals. It is important to implement certain physical education classes, which mainly focus on nutrition, and the positive physical and psychological outcomes of sport. Furthermore the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics create great opportunities for the local community of Sochi to involve people with disabilities in physical activities or jobs. It is important that the committee creates a long-termand sustainable plan of keeping people with disabilities involved in projects, jobs and sport.

The goal of creating a medical support system especially for workers and employees of the Winter Olympics Games is an unachievable objective for now. Let’s face the problems, Russia is still known as a country who forgets too many times the human rights. The violation of human rights is often mirrored by the violation of fair labor.

“Construction companies have been accused of not paying their workers, bussing in illegal laborers and taking scant care of their existing employees as Russia rushes to complete its preparations.

Last year at least 25 people died in accidents and many more were injured. The estimated 95,000 workers who have worked on the project have seen little of that £32 billion.

A Human Rights Watch report published in February found that some employers’ cheated workers out of wages, required them to work 12-hour shifts with few days off, and confiscated passports and work permits, apparently to coerce workers to remain in exploitative jobs.”

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/10416297/Sochi-Winter-Olympics-2014-rising-concerns-over-Games-mar-100-days-to-go-celebrations.html).

These examples of the work condition in Sochi indicate that corruption and unfair labor treatment is still a concern in Russia. We can hypothesize that Russia won’t solve these problems in Sochi, because Russia has to finish their projects until beginning next year and to be honest Russia won’t invest money to create better conditions for their workers because if workers complain they get laid off and another bus of migrant workers from the former Soviet Union will arrive.

Other social objectives are to develop patriotism, the feeling of national pride, maintain cultural diversity, ensuring access of cultural events, and maintaining the cultural legacy. Through the creation of certain themes for each year, for example 2013 is the year of museum; Russia explains and promotes their history and culture to their people and to their visitors. This is a great way of making people proud of their country and to achieve the goal of patriotism and national pride. Never the less Russia fails of creating diversity or cultural diversity in certain aspects. After a new federal law approved in Russia in June 2013 that bans “homosexual propaganda to minors” an important wave of criticism followed and many voices have claimed to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sochi). This action of the Russian government clearly prohibits the diversity of different groups of people and creates a certain type of racism. Russia shows again that they are still a country who doesn’t respect human rights. With this law Russia limits their people’s freedom once again.

Economic Objectives of Sochi 2014

The goals of developing a stable economy, creating a well-working job market and to developing the city of Sochi as both a mountain climate resort and a sports center at an international level are the main economic objectives for Sochi, the Krasnodar region and all of Russia. To achieve these objectives the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee focuses on using local and regional labor resources, materials, components, and equipment. Furthermore it wants to create new jobs and train/develop local labor resources. Furthermore Sochi will get a more developed and efficient infrastructure with that is meant that modern roads and railways, new transport hubs or new gas pipes are getting built. The city of Sochi and its people will definitely profit through the projects of the Winter Olympics and it creates new job opportunities in all different kind of fields. Therefore I think the Olympics will definitely benefit Sochi and its people economically and as a community. On the other hand,

“Sochi borders Russia’s six autonomous republics of the Northern Caucasus, home of the Chechen wars and violent feuding that surfaced after the breakup of the Soviet Union and continues to date. All of the republics have severe social problems that stem from massive unemployment and bad governance. Islamist extremism and the terrorism associated with it continue to be a threat” (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/opinion-will-olympic-flame-dim-in-sochi-a-680560.html).

These problems and issues could have negative effects of the economic development of Sochi’s region. It is hard for me to imagine that expressions of peace, tolerance, and fairness would be held hostage to a region where these values have little meaning. Never the less this Olympic Games could be a changing point for the tensions of this region. Russia needs to find the dialog between the different groups and also invest into these regions to create a more stable and sustainable economy.

Environmental Objectives

One environmental concept is the “Green Office”. “Green” rules are in place inside Organizing Committee’s buildings. This means that plates, bowls and cups used by the Organizing Committee are all re-usable. The napkins, towels and toilet paper are all made from recycled materials (http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/nature/game_nature/green_office/). In my opinion that is a great move of being economical sustainable and to reduce resources and waste. Furthermore to reduce the waste, the committee developed the “Zero Waste Games”, which focuses on upgrading the system of waste treatment in Sochi and on the stimulation of separate waste collection and waste recycling. The committee also developed a concept of how to use these new waste systems in the post-games period. With that is meant that they will adapt waste treatment systems, which were formed in the period of the games delivery, to the needs of Sochi (http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/nature/waste/).

Moreover the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee works together with “Dow” Worldwide Partner and the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games. Together they will focus on energy-efficient technologies, with improved greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance in the key areas of infrastructure, industry and agriculture (http://www.dow.com/sustainability/pdf/Q1SustainabilityReport2013.pdf). Through this partnership the committee wants to achieve the goal of having a minimal impact on the climate. This is an efficient and effective step of creating a long-term economic benefit to Russian economy, because these new technology methods can be used throughout Russia to improve sustainability and to protect the environment.

Conclusion

In my opinion the economic and environmental objectives are the most realistic one’s to achieve. In fact I think most of the ideas and actions will be effective and will help Sochi and its people to develop to a more sustainable city. The major concerns are the social objectives. In my opinion Russia has to enable the freedom of speech and has to realize the importance of diversity. Moreover it has to improve their way of treating workers fairly and to protect them from exploitation.