The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

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February 6, 2014

5 things you probably didn't know about the Sochi Olympics

Even with heavy media coverage, there are still a few interesting (and weird) things you might not know about the upcoming Olympic games in Russia.

The snow is man-made

There is some concern that temperatures in the warmest city to ever host the winter games could wash out events. While man-made snow isn't unusual for the Olympics, the snow at the Sochi games will be created using a complex, computerized system that includes man-made lakes created to hold enough water.

You can't ride your bike at the games.

There are quite a few things you can't bring in to the games, beyond the usual banned items like firearms and explosives. Officials released a specific, and long, list of all the prohibited items.

Among the banned items are any kind of meteorological equipment, thermoses (included in the food and beverage ban,) "hand tools," vuvuzelas and bicycles.

So if you planned on cycling around the Olympic complex with your hammer, you can't.

This is the most expensive Olympics in history

The price tag for the games has ballooned to $51 billion. A large percentage of the infrastructure for the games had to be built from scratch, however cries of corruption have run rampant including the claim that "half that sum is alleged to have disappeared in corrupt building contracts" according to theguardian.com

You can enter Sochi without a visa

Sochi, a popular resort town where cruise ships often dock, will allow you to enter the city for 72 hours without a visa, unlike most other parts of Russia. However, Americans traveling to Russia for the games will still need visas to enter the country.

The torch has been to outer space

At the end of the relay the Sochi Olympic torch will be have been carried by 14,000 bearers and will have even been shot into outer space.

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