The largest ever Observer Program to give the Organizing Committees of the Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games an opportunity to assess first-hand the preparation and delivery of Olympic Games is rolled out at the Sochi 2014 Olympics. The Observer Program is a record in terms of both number of delegates as well as events: a total of over 400 people are taking part in 70 different meetings and visits.
The Observer Program is held during each Games so Organizing Committees of international sports competitions can learn in detail the specifics of such major projects. Activity includes the meeting of official delegations at the airport and the accommodation of athletes in the Olympic Village to the awarding of medals and the Closing Ceremony of the Games.
The Observer Program of the XXII Olympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi is the largest in the history of the Games, and includes representatives from three future Organizing Committees of the five candidate cities competing for the right to host the Olympic Games in 2022: Oslo, Krakow, Lviv, Beijing and Almaty. The IOC has also provided the organizers of the FIFA World Cup, which will be held this summer in Brazil and in the summer of 2018 in Russia, with the opportunity to participate in the Program.
In addition, students of the Russian International Olympic University from 14 countries are undergoing training in Sochi 2014. Students of the educational course "Master of Sports Administration", which is a sports section of the international course "Master of Business Administration", or MBA, have taken tours of the Mountain and Coastal Cluster venues, in practice to assess the scope of work undertaken by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee over seven years.
The first official visit of observers to Sochi took place before the official opening of the Games on 4 February and the program will end on 24 February, after the closing address of the Winter Olympics.
Round tables with experts from various functional areas are held daily for participants of the program, where topical issues are discussed. There is also set of tours of venues, which are being held for representatives of future Organizing Committees by experts from the IOC.
Moreover, the transfer of knowledge and experience in the Olympic Games takes place through the Shadow Program where 50 delegates of the Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committees have spent their entire time following the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee employees in various positions, attentively observing their work.