The first Paralympic Winter Games in Russian history has come to a close and concluded an extensive series of Olympic and Paralympic events held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee over the past seven years. Over nine days of competition at these Paralympic Games, 547 Paralympic athletes from 45 countries took part, competing for 72 sets of medals in five Paralympic sports. Over 300,000 competition tickets have been sold – a significant Games record - and in Russia the Games were widely televised, – with Russian TV channels broadcasting a total of 180 hours.
The sport industry has concluded that thanks to the Games, Russia has risen to the top three most influential sport locations in 2012 and was named global sports leader for 2013-2018. In the near future, Russia will host some of the largest sporting events: 2015 European Luge Championship, 2016 IIHF World Championship, 2017 Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championship, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Facts about the Games
Over 2,400 media representatives and television and radio broadcasters operated at the Paralympic Winter Games. During the Games, the official website sochi2014.com was visited by more than 3 million people who, in total, viewed approximately 15 million pages.
During the Games, two Sochi 2014 Live Sites were in operation in Moscow and one in Sochi. In today, they transmitted overall 578 hours of broadcasts and hosted 817 different events.
The total revenue of the Organizing Committee's Paralympic marketing program is over USD $97 million, which is a record for a Paralympic Winter Games marketing programs. In total, the Paralympic family of Partners and suppliers included 28 leading foreign and Russian companies - market leaders in their respective industries.
More than 8,000 volunteers helped in organizing the competitions and worked a total of 80,000 shifts during the Games.
The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are a global event, the effect of which is already being seen in the host region and throughout the entire country. Thanks to preparations for the Games in Sochi, Russia is benefiting from a fundamental “material” and “non-material” legacy. The key elements of a material legacy include the development of a volunteer movement for the first time, positive change in society's attitude towards people with impairment, the development of green construction standards and the creation of a dedicated team of specialists to manage the mega-projects and sporting events.
From a summer resort known primarily within Russia, Sochi has been transformed into a world-class year-round business and tourist center. Thanks to the Games, the country will have a unrivalled complex of several ice arenas, ski and bobsleigh tracks, jumps and all related infrastructure – plus four ski resorts with a total of 150 kilometers of trails and over 367 kilometers of roads and bridges. For the Games, 40 new hotels were built and 15 were renovated, with a total capacity of 26,000 rooms.
On the eve of Russia's first ever Paralympic Games, more than 1,000 infrastructural sites in Sochi were recognized as accessible. Over the period 2006-2011, the number of Sochi residents with an impairment involved in sports tripled. Approximately 200 Russian cities have already adopted Sochi's leading example of creating a barrier-free environment, which will help to fully integrate people with impairment into society.
Today, the positive impacts of the Games have already being felt not only in the region, but all around the country. An invaluable contribution to this feeling is the innovative Accessibility Map project, implemented by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the One Country Support Fund for People with impairment. The Accessibility Map allows people with an impairment to find a place nearby where they can take part in Paralympic sports and obtain information on the nearest barrier-free environment locations. The Accessibility Map currently contains over 14,700 different facilities.
As part of the International Paralympic Committee's Observer Program, over 50 events in various formats were organized for the Organizing Committees of future Games. Their employees spoke about the specifics of preparing for and hosting a Paralympic Games – a further contribution to the Sochi 2014 legacy.
All Paralympic Winter Games venues were made fully accessible for people with impairment
– including parking, building entrances and exits, and spectator seating.
To make the movement of Sochi 2014 client groups with impairment as comfortable as possible, the Paralympic Games Transport Plans showed accessible routes between the city and Games venues and within the competition venues and the Olympic Park. During the Games, the city's transportation system added more than 800 buses for the transport of various client groups, of which 327 buses were accessible to people in wheelchairs.
During preparations for the Games, the main and reserve transport hubs - railway stations and international airports (Sochi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar and Adler) - were in full compliance with the requirements of a barrier-free environment.
All buildings where Paralympic athletes lived were equipped with ramps, elevators with accompanying sound, wide hallways and accessible bathrooms and showers. In addition, signs with braille or raised letters were specially installed for visually impaired athletes.
For the visually impaired in the Olympic Park and at all Games venues, tactile rails and warnings or visually contrasting paths were installed. On the steps of stairs and on transparent surfaces a warning was placed in contrasting stripes.
During preparations for the Paralympic Winter Games, the Organizing Committee's staff held approximately 40 training sessions on the an "Introduction to the Paralympic Movement and skills required to support people with an impairment" for 5,080 volunteers, drivers, security officers, airport workers, and Lastochka electric train operators. A special block from 58 training sessions on the Paralympic Winter Games, interaction with people with impairment and elements of a barrier-free environment at Games sporting venues was attended by 6,750 volunteers and contractors.
 Source: sport business publication Sportcal