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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IOC Team to Begin Inspection

SOCHI -- International Olympic Committee members arrived in Sochi late Sunday for a five-day inspection of the city, which is bidding to host the 2014 Winter Games.

Thirteen IOC members, headed by evaluation commission chief Chiharu Igaya, were welcomed at Adler Airport's New Terminal on Sunday night by city officials. They were treated to a performance of traditional Cossack dancing before being whisked away to the five-star Rodina Hotel, situated on the Black Sea coast.

On Monday, Olympic figure skating champions Yevgeny Plyushchenko and Tatyana Totnyanina gave IOC members a show at the Sochi Ice Skating Rink.

Officials are keen on playing up Russia's past Olympic successes and the fact that, despite all those medals, they have never hosted the Winter Games.

The real inspection begins Tuesday, when IOC members will be given a tour of skiing facilities at Krasnaya Polyana, a ski resort about 50 kilometers from central Sochi. Members will also view a computer presentation of planned construction of ski lifts and a bobsled track.

The following day, members will attend a national skiing competition -- Lyzhnya Rossii -- so they can see existing facilities being put to use for competitive purposes.

And Thursday, the commission will get a tour of the site of the planned Olympic village where athletes would stay during the Games. Construction on the Olympic village and media center began last week.

City officials were encouraged by Monday's perfect blue skies and the beautiful backdrop of the snow-capped Caucasus mountain range.

"I hope it created a good first impression," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, who heads the Sochi 2014 bid committee.

The commission has recently completed its tour of Pyeongchang, South Korea, also bidding for the Games. IOC Members praised Pyeongchang but voiced some reservation about access to ski slopes.

The commission tours Salzburg, Austria, next month, and the IOC will announce the winning bid July 4.