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Is Sochi ready to stage the Games?

As competitors and tourists began arriving for the Winter Olympics, some were greeted by the sight of workmen still hammering, sanding and soldering.

Several journalists staying in Sochi’s media village said they had been turned away from unfinished hotels or had to check into unfinished rooms.

French journalist Damien Burnier from Le Journal de Dimanche spoke about his experience: “We’re a little lonely and isolated, I don’t see any supermarket and to find any shops I think you have to take the lift. It is a little bit complicated, I am a little bit lost,” he mused.

While the organisers have dismissed the problems as “teething troubles” some tourists are less than happy.

Eva Hain, a tourist from Heiligenkreuz in Austria said: “Three days before my departure, I was told that my hotel will remain closed until February 7, that I will be re-booked into two other hotels, of which the first one was just a boarding house.”

But the Russians are confident all will be well for Friday’s grand opening. The International Olympic Committee has backed them up saying all 24,000 rooms for the Games had been delivered so competitors can focus on the real matter in hand.

The Russian government has spent the equivalent of around 38 billion euros on the Olympics in the hope of turning the Black Sea summer resort into a year-round tourism destination.

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