09:43 GMT +3 hours24 November 2014
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Sochi Olympics: Russia Marks 500 Days to Go

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(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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Sochi is more than 70 percent ready to host the 2014 Olympics, organizers said Tuesday as they celebrated 500 days until the opening ceremony of Russia’s first Winter Games.

(RECASTS to lead with readiness figure)

Sochi is more than 70 percent ready to host the 2014 Olympics, organizers said Tuesday as they celebrated 500 days until the opening ceremony of Russia’s first Winter Games.

Despite concerns over cost overruns, work on the mountain and coastal “clusters” of arenas is proceeding apace.

“The sporting infrastructure is more than 70 percent ready,” a spokesperson for the organizing committee told R-Sport in emailed comments.

Sochi 2014 bosses also unveiled the Games’ official slogan: “Hot.Cool.Yours.”

The committee said the slogan is a “universal solution” that “reflects Russia’s national character, the brand values of Sochi 2014 and also the progressive and innovative approach to organizing and hosting the Games,” in a statement.

Committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko said the slogan encourages inclusiveness and participation.

“The Sochi 2014 slogan says it’s impossible not to take part, impossible not to watch, impossible not to get excited and it’s worth being proud because these are our Games.”

"Hot" and "cool" are also references to subtropical Sochi's sun-and-snow climate.

The London 2012 Olympics featured the slogan "Inspire a Generation," while Vancouver 2010 visitors were invited to participate "With Glowing Hearts," a line from the national anthem.

The day culminated in displays put on by 12,000 Olympic volunteers in 17 cities across Russia, including the assembly of giant puzzles depicting the official pictograms of the 22 Winter Olympic disciplines.

The Sochi Winter Olympics will take place from February 7 through 23, 2014, and the first test events took place last year.

Last week, the Russian Post Office launched a set of Olympic postage stamps featuring a QR code linking the user to the Sochi 2014 website.