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Get To Know Sochi: Russian seaside resort welcomes the world for Olympics

Olympics Then and Now

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2014, file photo, the roof of the Bolshoy Ice Dome is lit in red as the Olympic cauldron stands at right in the Olympic Park before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Thirty-four years after the Moscow summer Olympics of 1980, President Vladimir Putin intends to prove to the world through the 2014 Sochi games that post-Soviet Russia remains a global player. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

David Goldman

Compared to recent Olympic settings such as Beijing, Vancouver and London, the Russian city of Sochi was not a well-known place when it was awarded it the 2014 Olympic Winter Games back in 2007.

That’s changing.

Once a favored holiday spot for both Communist party officials and Soviet workers, Sochi has now become the warmest site ever to host a Winter Olympics. It’s a unique setting, with both the waters of the Black Sea and the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains nearby.

MORE: Prepare for pageantry at Sochi Opening Ceremony

At the center of the Sochi Olympics is Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, whose fingerprints have been all over the competition from inception to realization. As NBC Olympics correspondents Vladimir Pozner and David Remnick explained last night to Bob Costas, Putin wants a successful Olympics that shows off the new Russia.

That’s the start of a series of videos that’ll help introduce Sochi to Olympics viewers.

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