July 5 - Sochi 2014 has celebrated the three-year anniversary of Sochi 2014 winning the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with a traditional "Sochi-YES" festival.

The event was held as part of Sochi 2014’s Cultural Olympiad, which began in May and celebrations included various sporting events which took place during the day and a grand concert in the evening.

The event was attended by prominent artists, Sochi 2014 Ambassadors, musicians, athletes and thousands of Sochi residents.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, said: "The emotions and joy that the team experienced in Guatemala after being selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2014 Winter Games are unforgettable.

"The positive changes that are occurring in Russia as a result of hosting the Winter Games are clear for all to see.

"At the 'Sochi – YES' festival we are highlighting our plans to transform Sochi.

"After the Games it will not only be seen as the host city of the 2014 Winter Games, but also as a modern city: a prime example of hospitality and innovation."

The celebration began with sporting events, held all over the city.

In the afternoon football fans were given an opportunity to witness a special tournament, featuring a match between a Sochi 2014 team including Sochi 2014 ambassador, Alexander Zubkov, a bronze medallist in the two-man bob in Vancouver earlier this year, against a mixed team called "Druzhba" - which is Russian for friendship. 

The team was made up of honorary members of Sochi’s Zhemchuzhina football club, Krasnodar regional officials and Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov.

Another football match was played by a team made up of Sochi 2014 Partners MegaFon and Rosneft.

Before the match Alexey Voevoda, Zubkov's partner in Vancouver, were welcomed as a new Sochi 2014 Ambassador.

Voevoda said: "It is a great honor and pleasure to have this opportunity to contribute to the 2014 Winter Games.

"As a native of Sochi I'm very glad to join the team to mark the special day when we celebrated our victory, and the whole city yelled 'Sochi - YES'.

"I am happy to become the new Sochi 2014 ambassador and will spread the word about the Olympic values and an active and healthy lifestyle."

In the evening thousands of residents and visitors in Sochi joined the grand concert on the main square in front of the Winter Theatre where they watched Russian celebrities.

This concert once again emphasised the close ties between culture and sport in Russian history.

On the stage the first Cultural Olympiad diplomas for Sochi 2014 ambassadors were also awarded.

Honorary status was given to young members of the "Do-mi-solki" group, who sang the Sochi 2014 anthem along with other stars.

The "Sochi - YES" festival was closed in style with colorful fireworks.