Getting Ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics

By Lee Arthur

With the Olympic torch officially on its way to Russia, the 2014 Winter Olympics are just around the corner and there’s no better time to get ready.

sochi torch relay

Ice-hockey champion of the Washington Capitols, Alex Ovechkin, has become the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch towards the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The relay with last 123 days and will be the largest in Olympic history, stretching across 65 000 kilometres, 14 000 torchbearers and 9 time zones. As the torch makes its way from Greece through Russia, Winter Olympics fever is heating up.


While the torch makes its journey through Russia, here’s a few simple steps to take before embarking on your trip to Soshi for the 2014 Winter Olympics:

1) Get moving – Organise a visa, book your flights and tickets to the 2014 Winter Olympics online
Book tickets to any winter sports on your radar as soon as possible to ensure you’re front and centre in February. Getting a visa is easy – Applying for a ‘letter of invitation’ might sound scary, but it’s a simple process. Stop by the Russian consulate in your country or visit for more information. Be sure to leave yourself at least two months in advance to have this sorted and you’ll have no issues making it to Sochi in time for the Games.

2) Book your accommodation close to the Olympic Park
The ideal place to stay in Sochi is just a short walk from the Olympic action. Visit the official Sochi Accommodation page, for accommodation information and chose something from the many options which fits your budget.

3) Give yourself a generous budget
The 2014 Winter Olympics have proven to be the most expensive Olympics in history, so don’t be afraid to splurge and enjoy yourself while you’re there. Russian festivities are never short of food and alcohol, so dig in. Indulge in traditional Russian cuisine and remember, there’s no better way to combat the cold during the day than filling your belly with local chocolate, nuts and sunflower seeds.

4) Immerse yourself in the events of the Olympic Games
Whether it’s ice hockey or figure skating, there’s something for everyone at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Events will be held in 15 different disciplines of seven different sports including biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing.

5) See more of Russia
If you’re in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics, why not explore more of the largest country in the world? The major cities of St Petersburg and Moscow are the easy choices, only a flight away from major Russian airports. There’s also no better way to see Russia than traveling to spots along the Trans-siberian railway. Marvel at the breathtaking views from Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world. While covering some Russian ground, explore the mountainous Altai region and volcanoes in Kamchatka.

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Here’s some other tips to help you make the most of your trip:

Download apps – The Olympic Games Sochi 2014 official app provides you with all the event information and Sochi knowledge you will need, right at your fingertips

Join the social media coverage – London 2012 Olympic Games were crowned as the “first social media Games” and Sochi will follow in its lead, so tweet, blog, hashtag (#Sochi2014) and get involved online!

Rug up – Russia is known for its harsh winters. Invest in an heavy, insulated jacket and a pair of sturdy snow boots before you leave.

Learn some basic Russian – Even though the Olympics is an international event, it’s handy to know some Russian language basics.

Research other parts of Russia – it’s a big country. If you plan to travel more when you’re in Russia, take a look at what is else is there.

Learn how 56th Parallel can get you to Russia in time for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and unlock more one-of-a-kind destination tours in Russia here.

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