RIOU students go behind the scenes at Sochi 2014
10 February 2014, Sochi: Future sport leaders studying at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) today started a unique observation programme allowing them to understand and discuss the complex logistical operations behind the organisation of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Until 16 February, RIOU’s 27 MSA students from 14 different countries will observe operations of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee to see how its different divisions work together. This programme is similar to the IOC Observer Programme laid on for future organising committees during each Winter and Summer Games; it has been built into RIOU’s MSA course to maximise the knowledge transfer of best-practice operations by the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee to the next generation of sport managers, which RIOU is helping to nurture.
RIOU Rector, Professor Lev Belousov, said:
“At RIOU, we put a particular emphasis on practical training to allow our students to interact with professionals during events and acquire behind-the-scenes experience. I am absolutely convinced that our students will gain invaluable know-how and ideas from this special observation programme during Sochi 2014 and I hope it will be highly useful to them, and their own countries, in the future.”
The seven-year delivery period of an Olympic and Paralympic Games is predicted to involve coordinating with more than 200 different stakeholders including communities local to the host city, the Olympic Family, national and global sponsors and the world’s media.
This period is divided into three distinct phases – planning, implementation and closing down. RIOU’s inaugural intake of MSA students are privy to the implementation phase and will attend Olympic venues to observe operational activities and participate in roundtable discussions to exchange knowledge and ideas with Games operations leaders on topics such as venue operations, technology operations, brand identity, press operations, and sustainability and legacy.
One of RIOU’s MSA students, who is also an Olympic gold medallist for Poland in swimming, Otylia Jędrzejczak, said:
“In the past few months at RIOU we have been learning a lot about the Olympic Movement, the Olympic spirit and the organisation of the Olympic Games, so this observation programme is a great opportunity to see how all these parts merge together to create a truly special event such as Sochi 2014.
“As an Olympian I know how an Olympic Games looks from an athlete’s perspective. I took part in four editions in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London and I was naturally more focused on the performance and results aspect of these Games, rather than the overall experience and excitement. So for me, learning about how the magic is created for athletes and fans is even more interesting.
“One of the things I am particularly keen to understand is the logistics behind catering for athletes of different religions who eat different foods, because nutrition is such an important part of an athlete’s preparation and it must be exactly right. It is also really important for me to understand as much detail as possible about the marketing, management and human resources aspects to organising the Games. Poland is bidding for the Olympic Winter Games in 2022 so I am determined to gain as much knowledge as possible and feed it back to our National Olympic Committee to help their bid.”
RIOU’s students are also set to be involved in practical training during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which take place from 7-16 March.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation “Russian International Olympic University” (RIOU) was established on 21 October 2009 under the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and the Russian Olympic Committee, and under a decree of the Russian Federation No 774. The founders of the University are the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, and Interros private investment company.
The Chairman of the RIOU Board of Trustees is the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and its Deputy Chairman is Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, thereby making RIOU an establishment cemented firmly in both Russian and Olympic history.
The University is based in Sochi - the host city for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games – and offers unique programmes infused with Olympic values and experiences. RIOU’s activities concentrate on training specialists in sports management for the Russian and international sports industry, and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The University’s educational programmes cover the main aspects of sports education: venue and infrastructure management, competitions, mass communications, diplomacy and administration, and career management.
The full one-year tuition fee for the Master of Sport Administration programme is $15,000. The cost of accommodation on the University’s modern campus in central Sochi is $15,000 for the whole period of study. Classes will start in September 2014 and finish in late June, 2015.
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