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So, What And Where Is Sochi, Anyway?

With a controversial Winter Olympics six months away, let's get to know the host city.

Sochi's population of 343,334 is about the same as Honolulu, Hawaii.

Both cities are coastal resort areas as well. Sochi is located on the Black Sea, and Honolulu is obviously on the Pacific Ocean. Can you guess which is which?

Sochi has a humid, sub-tropical climate, which is comparable to this area of the U.S.

Sochi's average temperature during the day in the winter is a mild 52 degrees, and in the summer it averages out at 75 degrees.

Sochi is sometimes referred to as the "Russian Riviera."

It's the most popular resort city in all of Russia.

I know what you're thinking, this can't be Russia — they have freakin' palm trees!

I mean, where's the snow?

Where are the hats?

Seriously, how is this Russia?

Well, Sochi is about a 1,000 miles south of Moscow.

Which is like driving from New York City to Orlando.

Speaking of Florida: Did you know Maria Sharapova was raised in Sochi before moving to the Sunshine State?

Vince Bucci / Getty Images

So was Yevgeny Kafelnikov!

Kafelnikov won the '96 French Open, '99 Austrailian Open and men's singles gold at the Sydney Summer Olympics.

What's that? You're wondering how this resort town famous for tennis players is hosting the Winter Olympics?

Well, Sochi is located at the base of the Caucasus Mountains. Mountains get cold.

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

The mountains are where Olympians in outdoor sports will be competing for these beautiful medals.


(The gold medals in seven events will actually include parts of the metor that struck Chelyabinsk in February.)

These events are the men’s 1,500-meter speedskating, the women’s 1,000 and men’s 1,500 short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super giant slalom and the men’s skeleton.

Here are the three mascots for the games: a leopard, a hare and a polar bear.

Incredibly, these breathtaking photos are taken merely 31 miles from Sochi's beaches.

Leon Neal / Getty Images

31 miles from palm trees.

Harry Engels / Getty Images

Where they'll also be holding World Cup soccer matches in 2018. Sochi: now a major part of the sporting world for reasons besides just Yevgeny Kafelnikov.