The Hosting Game

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar March 2, 2018 16:16

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The Hosting Game

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (February 28th 2018)

Sochi’s Charm

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It’s 7 degrees Celsius in Sochi. Journalists from many countries have gathered in Sochi – most thinking it’s cold – freezing for some. A volunteer from Moscow thinks differently. “It’s so hot here,” she says.

People look at her incredulously, but she’s right. It’s still well below freezing point in both Moscow and even colder in St Petersburg, so Sochi, boasting 7 degrees, is hot, and Sochi knows how to sell itself. It is the only host city to host such an event, and it made sure participants left, knowing its charms and wanting to return.

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Among the participants at Sochi’s recent Team Worksop was Morocco, but more of that below. Of all the cities hosting Russia’s World Cup Sochi is unique in having a sports based plan for its economy that pre-dated the World Cup and will continue long after the last ball in the finals has been kicked.

Sports-Based Strategy

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Sochi was determined that participants benefit from the Workshop, leaving with a better understanding of security and technical issues, but also that the city itself was highlighted. The Mayor of the city showed us around the Olympic village and explained that was the start of a plan to highlight Sochi as a top class sports hosting city. There are no white elephants in Sochi despite the snow.

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It boasts a Formula One race – we saw the facilities first hand, and Sports Minister of Krasnodar, former Olympic 400m runner Liudmila Chernova explained the plans of Sochi and indeed the region arising out of the World Cup. Chernova competed in the 1980 Olympics, boycott or not, coming 5th in her semi-final behind eventual Gold Medallist Marita Koch of the now defunct East Germany.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar March 2, 2018 16:16