Sochi was a mid-sized resort city with little worldwide visibility before winning the right to host the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Without the infrastructure to stage the games, the Russian government had to build roads, train stations, hotels, and nearly a dozen world-class sports arenas from scratch.
This GIF, which was posted on r/Olympics, shows the construction of the “coastal cluster” — the concentrated area of six arenas (in addition to the Olympic Park and Olympic Village) that will be the hub of the Sochi Olympics — over a nine-year window.
As you can see, it used to be empty space:
The “coastal cluster” from the ground:
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