A new terminal is now open at Sochi International Airport. The facility is one of the major infrastructure developments ahead of the city hosting Russia's first Winter Games in 2014.

The terminal is already handling passengers on domestic and international flights. Overall investment in the development of the airport terminal has been 6.2 billion rubles.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 organizing committee, said, "The new air gateway provides our guests - fans, tourists, sports people and officials who fly in from all over the world - with their first impressions of Sochi the Olympic city. The welcoming atmosphere of the new terminal will be the first stage in ensuring that all guests receive an excellent impression of Sochi."

The terminal boosts the airport's passenger capacity from 900 to 1600 passengers per hour. Additional expansion will be carried out in 2012, when 10 telescopic gangways are completed, and the airport's capacity will rise to 3800, which meets the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requirements.

The Sochi 2014 Organising Committee opened a Russian national competition Sept. 1 to design a mascot for the Winter Games. Every resident in the country has a chance to submit their ideas over the next three months. Ambassadors recently launched a mascot competition for the Winter Games. Some suggestions so far include the white tiger, a snowman, a happy sheep on a snowboard, and a golden fish.

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