Sochi Olympics countdown to begin in Moscow

MOSCOW. February 7. KAZINFORM The clock for the countdown to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will start working on Thursday - a year before the start of the Games - in Moscow. The clock launch ceremony will be held in Manezhnaya Square, according to Itar-Tass.

The clock in strict secrecy was being installed in the centre of the Russian capital during a week by specialists of the famous Swiss brand Omega that as a partner of the IOC designed a model of the Olympic clock. The countdown will start from the position - 364 days before the start of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. On Thursday, similar clocks will be started in Sochi, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk and Pyatigorsk.

The Moscow clock was installed to the right of the dome of the underground shopping centre Okhotny Ryad. The parameters of the chronometer: height - about 6 metres, width - 2.2 metres, length - 4.4 metres. The structure occupies an area of almost 8 metres. Its weight is 7.8 tonnes. Incidentally, the countdown clock was installed in the place where the chapel in memory of the Russian soldiers who died during the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 was located in 1883. The clock has a front and back side. The front side - facing Mokhovaya Street- will show the time remaining before the Olympic Games, and the back side - turned towards Red Square - will show the time left before the Paralympic Games.

The safety and operation of the clock will be monitored with the help of video cameras, one of which is mounted on the building of the State History Museum, and the second - on the roof of the Moskva Hotel. In addition, the structure will be guarded in a round the clock regime and territory around it will be regular cleaned up.

On Thursday, the digital clock with the countdown to the Winter Olympics will be launched on TV channels of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), the company's press service reported. Russian TV viewers will be able to see all the competitions of the Olympic Games in full - the VGTRK holding's terrestrial and thematic channels will provide the maximum airtime for this and will transmit live broadcasts from all the venues, it said. According to a representative of the broadcasting holding, on the VGTRK channels alone the Olympics will be shown in the maximum volume from the first start to the last.

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