$50 billion ticket – Never before has so much been spent on an Olympics. So far the bill is $50 billion and rising...
Stylish Shayba – The Shayba Arena, which will stage ice hockey games, holds 7,000 spectators. Shayba means puck in Russian and Russian fans are also renowned for shouting "Shaybu" when supporting the national hockey teams at major championships
Ready to go – Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium will host the opening ceremony. Organizers say the elaborate jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs that are a renowned Russian icon inspired the unique shell-like design of the stadium.
Brilliant Bolshoi – The Bolshoi Ice Dome arena, which will have a capacity of 12,000 seats, will also host ice hockey matches. It's eye-catching design is based on the image of a huge frozen water droplet.
Security stepped up – Security has been increased in Sochi after suicide bomb attacks in Volgograd. It is estimated that the total number of personnel providing security at the Games will be about 37,000. The newly built railway station in Adler, a district in the resort of Sochi, is pictured.
Follow the multicolor road – A picture taken from a helicopter in December shows roads under construction at the Olympic Park in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. Another road, which links the Sochi Olympic event stadiums with the mountains cost an estimated $8.2 billion to build.
Putin's project? – Given the enormous investment, Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal political prestige is at stake in staging a successful Olympics.
Let the games begin – But when the action starts, will the cost of the Sochi games be forgotten?