Russia Counts 500 days To Sochi Winter Olympics

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MOSCOW (AP) - Russia is celebrating the 500-day countdown to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi with a series of nationwide events and the launch of a new slogan.

Sochi organizing committee head Dmitry Cherynshenko said Tuesday that infrastructure is 70 percent complete and that preparations are on schedule.

More than 12,000 volunteers from 15 cities took part in 500-meter relay races, including with skates and skateboards, and formed giant human figures representing all Winter Olympic sports.

Sochi also has a new slogan: "Hot. Cool. Yours."

This will be the first time Russia hosts the Winter Olympics, although it is traditionally one of the strongest competitors.

Facilities in the mountains and in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi will be tested this winter.