Three separate and distinctive Olympic villages constructed to house the athletes taking part in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia officially opened on Jan. 30, according to a press release posted to the Games' official website and tweets by American athletes in attendance.
The ceremonial opening of the three clusters of housing featured a concert by a Russian music group. The mayor and vice-mayor of each village as well as Dmitry Chernyshenko, the president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, were all on hand to make remarks and welcome athletes to their temporary homes.
While welcoming athletes to the Coastal Village, Chernyshenko promised good things were in store, asserting that the "beautiful environment will help [athletes] to perform at their best." He went on to assure "equal, perfect opportunity for everybody..."
Although some members of Team USA remain in Munich, Germany undergoing the processing portion of their Olympic journeys, others have arrived in Sochi. Skeleton specialist Kyle Tress tweeted about his own progress on Jan. 30, writing "Long but successful first day in Sochi. Checked in to the Mountain Village, tomorrow to Coastal Village. It's going to be a great #Olympics"
The Mountain Village is slated to host skeleton athletes like Tress, as well as those participating in skiing, bobsled, freestyle skiing, luge, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding events. Per the press release, the Mountain Village will be home to roughly 3,000 athletes and delegation members, and will serve as "the International Zone, where athletes will be able to meet with the media, dignitaries and visitors."
The second-largest housing area, the 47-building Usadba Coastal Village, will host approximately 2,000 athletes and delegates including those competing in ice hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating and short track events.
The smallest area, the Sloboda Endurance Village, will be home to nearly 1,100 visitors, including coaches and officials, and athletes competing in cross-country skiing and biathlon events.
The 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi will open Feb. 7.