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Sochi is a resort city located in the Russian Federal Subject of Krasnodar Krai which stretches 145 km (90 miles) along the Black Sea, making it the second longest city in the world behind only Mexico City. Sochi has a long history that dates back to Ancient Greek and Roman times when the area was inhabited by the Zygii people. The first Russian settlement on the site was called Fort Alexander founded in 1838 at the mouth of Sochi River. In fact Sochi is a relatively new name for the city, as it was first called that in 1896. The name has two possible sources: it could be a variation of the term "sshatche" was used by the local people to mean "place by the sea" or "shacha" which locals used to mean "sell a head" because the territory of the town used to be where slave markets were held. One of the first big names to put Sochi on the map was Soviet leader Joseph Stalin - he built his favorite vacation home, or dacha here. The city was also known as the "All-Union health resort" of the Soviet Union and after the collapse of the USSR, the city was in fact the only Black Sea resort in Russia and is in what is known now as the "Russian Riviera.

" Plus the air quality in Sochi is excellent, due in part to the fact that the city boasts nearly 500,000 acres of forests, with about 10,000 of those acres located in the city center! Another interesting fact about this city is that it is merely a 37-hours train ride away from Russia’s capital Moscow! In addition to its status of a resort city, Sochi is known for its sports facilities. For example, Sochi tennis schools have trained such athletes as Maria Sharapova. Due to its popularity among tourists, historic characteristics, sports venues and proximity to the Caucasus Mountains it was announced in 2007 that Sochi would be the host town of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It is estimated that Russia has spent about $50 billion getting the town all fancied up, which includes over 669,000 jobs created due to Olympic projects and building 200 miles of roads and bridges and 125 miles of railway tracks. The Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix is held here as well until at least 2020 and Sochi is one of the host towns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. So it is fair to say that Sochi is clearly familiar with top-notch athletes!

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