Sochi boosts coffers

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Sochi 2014 announced its first domestic sponsors while the International Olympic Commitee was in town for an inspection.

On 7 February 2009, Sochi 2014 will begin its 'five–years–to–go' countdown to host the Winter Olympic Games. It was timely therefore that a delegation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) visited the Black Sea coastal resort for a working visit with organisers of the event at the end of January 2009. The IOC delegation in Sochi included Jean–Claude Killy, Olympic skiing legend and chairman of the IOC's coordination commission for Sochi 2014, and Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Olympic Games executive director. In Sochi, the IOC team has been hearing that progress for Russia's first Winter Games is firmly on track, as part of a series of meetings to showcase progress on all 'functional' aspects of preparations for both the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games. Particular attention was paid to the progress made on the governance structure for the 2014 Winter Games, including collaboration with private investors and contractors. During the visit, Sochi 2014 experts presented their environmental strategic construction plan, which will not only ensure that Olympic construction protects the unique natural environment of the region around Sochi, but also leaves a positive environmental legacy. The environmental plan outlines a series of tangible actions for all stages of Games preparations. In the lead up to the Winter Games, power engineering and transport infrastructure will be modernised. During the Winter Games, alternative energy sources and low emission transportation facilities will be used. Following Sochi 2014, it is planned to integrate these alternative energy sources into Sochi's energy supply system: a clear, long–term positive benefit for the people of Sochi. During the IOC meeting, Sochi 2014 organisers confirmed that their specialist experience has been enhanced thanks to their observation of international sports events, including major competitions in Moscow and other Russian cities. During the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, a large team of Sochi 2014 will be in Vancouver to closely observe the whole process of holding the event. At the time of the IOC visit, Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, assured the governing body that his government remains fully committed to financing the 2014 Games in Sochi despite the global economic crisis. The Sochi 2014 Organising Committee also announced its first Tier One partners for the event. Rostelecom and MegaFon will assume the status of Telecommunication partner/Telecommunication provider and Mobile partner/Mobile provider of the XXII Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi respectively. The total sum of the deal for the telecoms partner category is $260m, which is the largest domestic sponsorship agreement in the history of the Olympic Movement. In addition, the new Sochi 2014 partners plan to invest about $200m in the development of the infrastructure of the Krasnodar region, bringing their total investment in the Sochi 2014 project to approximately $500m.

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