Part of complete coverage on
Sochi 2014: Russia's numbers game
February 7, 2014 -- Updated 1744 GMT (0144 HKT)
- Russia has spent more than any other Olympics host in preparing Sochi for Winter Games
- Its reported $50 billion cost is four times higher than originally promised in bid document
- Black Sea resort transformed with an unprecedented level of construction
(CNN) -- When Russia bid to host its first Winter Olympics back in 2007, the document quoted an expected cost of around $12 billion.
However, as the extensive renovation of the city of Sochi has unfolded in the years since successfully winning the rights to stage the Games, that number has ballooned to around $50 billion -- more than four times over budget.
It will be the most expensive Olympics yet, surpassing Beijing's 2008 Summer Games.
The Russian government says that much of this has been sunk into infrastructure -- upgrading travel links such as airports and train stations, building new roads, houses, hotels and conference centers and providing the other necessary utilities to welcome thousands of visitors.
According to both President Vladimir Putin and his predecessor, the present Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the "sports-related" costs have come to about $6.4 billion.
This has largely come from building 10 competition venues, both down on the Black Sea coast in Sochi's Olympic area and up in the mountain cluster in Krasnaya Polyana -- which not long ago had just one ski lift.
The Games will launch with the February 7 opening ceremony at the $600 million Fisht Stadium, which will not host any sporting events but will close the Olympics two and a half weeks later.
The arena will then be used by Russia's national football team and will host matches at the 2018 World Cup with an expanded capacity of 45,000.
Read: Inside Sochi 2014 - Explore the venues
Watch: Sochi by numbers
Read: Sochi Olympic hotels report delays
Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)
With the Olympic cauldron now extinguished, CNN takes a look at whether Russia's $50 billion Sochi budget was money well spent.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
The athletes on show in Sochi provided moments of drama and destiny that captured the imagination and settled in the collective memory.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1615 GMT (0015 HKT)
Russia may have topped the medals table at the first Winter Olympics it staged, but which country was most successful per capita?
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
From eye-popping helmet designs to F1-influenced bobsleigh, the Sochi offered a bewildering array of technological innovation.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT)
Sochi's closing ceremony took an artistic look at Russian culture before the Olympic flag was handed over to South Korea for the 2018 Games.
February 23, 2014 -- Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT)
Critics say it would have been cheaper to coat this Russian road with caviar but will the route made for Sochi reap long-term rewards?
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Navigate your way around this spectacular 360-degree picture from Sochi's ski-jumping venue at the Winter Olympics -- and find out how it was created.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 1045 GMT (1845 HKT)
Sochi's transformation has left even the local cab drivers a bit lost and confused -- but don't let that put you off visiting this rejuvenated Black Sea resort.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
What do you get if you mix Valentine's Day, thousands of good-looking young Olympians and a popular online dating app?
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1211 GMT (2011 HKT)
For a Winter Olympics, there are some very colorful characters from some very tropical climates taking part -- including this "Mariachi" skier.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
If snowboarders were an introduction to a younger, hipper, "slacker" generation of Olympians, the next wave has taken it to another level.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
He didn't like carpets, he banned portraits and he walked in water rather than swim. Welcome to Joseph Stalin's dacha.
February 13, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
Like most skiers in Sochi, Jacky Chamoun had hoped to cause a stir on the slopes rather than off them.
February 12, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
It has been dubbed Russia's Las Vegas. But has Sochi's massive renovation come at a cost to the region's stunning natural environment?
February 23, 2014 -- Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT)
Take a different look at Sochi 2014 as CNN showcases the most compelling images from the world's best photographers.