The Winter Olympic Games, taking place ever since 1924 (Chamonix, France) as a younger sibling of the Summer Olympics, have been held every four years since 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway), always two years apart from its summer counterpart.
Therefore, the athletes, sport officers, diplomats, journalists, and fans are meeting also in 2014, particularly from 7th to 23th February, in the Russian city of Sochi situated near the Black Sea on the foothill of the Caucasus. During the voting of the 119th meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Guatemala City, 2007, Sochi received more votes than the South Korean city of Pyeongchang and the Austrian city of Salzburg, although it had not been known before as a winter sports resort.
However, the selection criteria represent not only traditions, natural conditions and infrastructure, but also sports diplomacy and policy. Sports and especially the Olympic ones are becoming big business requiring new impulses and territorial expansions. It is also the case of Sochi and its apt motto: "Gateway to Future." A white dot on the sport map is becoming the center of sports, recreation and active rest thanks to generous financial allocations of the Russian government and its promise to guarantee US$12 billion as a financial support.
What do the Winter Olympic Games 2014 mean for the athletes? For some they are great expectation, for the others, sport goals, increased training discipline and belief in their own strengths, sports luck and sometimes also a small miracle.
To commemorate the Olympics Pofis post issued a postage stamp designed by one of the most celebrated Slovak artists and the author of Slovak postage stamps – Igor Piacka.