It’s been settled. The Sochi 2014 Olympics has already set itself apart from past Games—just ask any women’s ski aficionados—but it is also breaking some records of its own.
Don’t expect these records to be winning any gold medals. As the world watches in anticipation, the Sochi Games is taking the lead in some notable ways.
Here’s a list of records set before the Sochi 2014 Olympics:
The most expensive Games ever.
This year’s Winter Games is already billed as the most expensive Olympics ever, according to Business Week. The estimated cost totals around $51 billion, surpassing the $40 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. With only a portion of the money directly funding the Games, the rest has gone to peripheral costs, such as, security and infrastructure (and double toilets).
The highest security threat since Munich.
Security measures against terrorist threats at the Games haven’t been this high since the 1972 Munich Olympics, according to the Washington Times. Russia’s so-called “ring of steel”—a perimeter of roadblocks, check points and police guards surrounding the Black Sea—is so big that even the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is calling it the “most impressive” in the history of the Games.
The warmest Winter Olympics.
It may be an average winter in Sochi this year, but Olympic athletes (especially those on the slopes) may be competing in one of the warmest Winter Games in modern history. The previous record went to Vancouver, Canada, where it got as warm as 44.8 F (7.1 C) in 2010. Sochi? A reportedly 50 F (10 C). It’s so “warm” that even organizers have secured 16 million cubic feet of artificial snow to ensure the Winter Olympics feel like, well, winter.
The longest torch relay in Olympic history.
Russians have now taken this Winter Games to a whole other level by sending the Olympic torch on its longest ever relay. The 39,000-mile torch relay started on Oct. 7, and since then it has traveled to the world’s deepest lake, all the way to outer space. It’s expected to light up the Olympic flame in Sochi on Feb. 7, which marks the beginning of the 2014 Games.
The most Olympic swag ever sold.
No one disputes that there is a lot of money to be made in the Olympics—a lot! The Sochi 2014 Licensing Program has been setting records by licensing a ton of swag, including blankets, polar teddy bears, table hockey, magnets and keychains. Millions of items have already been sold in Russia and through the official Sochi Olympics online store.