Sochi, Russia may not have been the most well-known city on Earth before it was chosen to host the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, but the world is watching to see how it fares as a host city. While I was looking for information on the Olympic Hockey schedule I started learning some factoids about Sochi that surprised me or that I found incredibly interesting. Read on for some fun-fact knowledge you can break out at the next party you attend or to be your trivia team’s hero.
1. Sochi is a popular Summer resort town on the coast of the Black Sea.
About 2 million people visit each summer. I found this interesting because I don’t normally equate Winter Olympics with popular Summer destinations. Photo via Fabio – Miami on flickr
2. In fact, Sochi is known as the highlight of ‘Russia’s Riviera’.
It is one of Russia’s few subtropical cities. It has palm trees and averages around 50 during the day in the winter. My brain hurts. Photo via Crazy_Cow on Flickr
3. Sochi may or may not be in Europe.
I guess it depends on how you determine where Asia starts. People that use the Caucaus Mountains argue that it is in Asia.
4. Local cuisine is influenced by many cultures and is unique from typical Russian cuisine.
Popular dishes range from Shish Kebobs to Khachapuri (the cheese filled bread you see in the picture). Photo via Scott Lowe on Flickr. Learn more about popular local foods on the Russia & India Report
5. Sochi falls in the Moscow Time Zone, that puts it 10 hours ahead of Chicago.
This is important to know because of sleep and work productivity if you are going to try to catch any of the games.
6. Outdoor Winter Olympic sports will occur about 90 minutes away in Krasnaya Polyana.
When the 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, the ski, snowboarding etc. events took place at Whistler, a similar distance away. Photo via rapidtravelchai on flickr.
7. Greek Mythologists believe Sochi is where Odysseus encountered Cyclops and where Prometheus was tortured while chained.
That is some grade A knowledge right there. You just won your trivia team that free round of drinks and appetizer.
8. The Olympic Village will house roughly 6,000 athletes.
With all those young, fit adrenaline filled athletes, that’s a lot of condoms. Vancouver stocked up with 100,000 condoms for the Olympic Village when they hosted in 2010, hope Sochi does the same. Photo via John Biehler on Flickr.
9. Sochi is home to around 400,000 residents. Roughly the same size of Omaha.
But unlike Omaha, Sochi is in a region with about 5.1 million people.
10. Sochi and Nice share the same latitude.
But winds from Asia cause it to get colder than Nice in the winters. Photo via Fabio – Miami on Flickr.
Did any of these surprise you? Share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.