By David Gold

gI 104805_sochiJune 28 - Rostelecom has been named as the official technical partner for the Sochi 2014 Live Sites, with an agreement being signed at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The live sites are entertainment venues, located in city centres featuring giant screens for Russians to watch the action live during the Olympics.

The Organising Committee of Sochi 2014 agreed with Rostelecom – who run the most extensive and technologically advanced fibre-optic network in Russia, spanning some 150,000 kilometres – that the first live sites will open in time to receive live footage of this summer's Olympics in London for millions across Russia to watch.

Audiences will be hoping to see some of Russia's leading stars, such as Yelena Isinbayeva, aiming for a third successive pole vaulting gold medal, and quadruple world champion wrestler Besik Kudukhov.

Russia will also be showcasing Sochi in London this summer, with ice rinks set up outside Sochi.Park – a recreated winter wonderland featuring high-tech interactive digital experiences – and masterclasses provided by a ice skating champion Tatiana Navka (pictured below, left), a Sochi 2014 ambassador.

There will be more than 25 live sites by the Winter Olympics in 2014, with Rostelecom providing high speed channels to connect cities in its main network.

Tatiana Navka_June_27
Sochi 2014 President and chief Dmitry Chermyshenko and Rostelecom counterpart Alexander Provotorov were present to sign the deal.

Chernyshenko said: "Thanks to Rostelecom's innovative technologies, the Olympic Games in London will be closer to millions of Russians.

"Modern technology will become of a driver of emotional moments for Olympic fans.

"Now we can unite people from a wider range of cultures and geographies than ever before, and ensure watching the Olympic Games is inspirational and unforgettable."

After signing the agreement, Provotorov said: "Promoting the values of the Olympic Movement is of particular importance to Rostelecom's Olympic plans.

"It is essential to have a live picture of thrilling Olympic events for those who are not at the stadium, and to give people a chance to see athletes from Russia and around the world win their medals."

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