The final countdown is on for athletes and organizers alike for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Before we know it, the eyes of the sporting world will be on Sochi and the 22nd Winter Olympics. Sochi's sub tropical climate, security, escalating costs, and Russia's new anti-gay propaganda laws meant there was plenty to discuss with the man in charge on my first trip to the Black Sea Resort in September.

"The other issue I have to ask you about are the anti-gay laws. You were at the IOC congress last week. What did the other delegates have to say about it?"

"They expressed the concern among the NOC that what they call the anti-gay law is harming the rights of people in our country, which is not true. I can tell you in accordance to the constitution of the Russian Federation that any discrimination of any human whether by, sex, gender or religion is strictly prohibited. I believe that our games will be one of the most diverse with equal opportunities for everyone."

The good news is that snow has arrived. Any concerns about a lack of the white stuff were blown away by the massive blizzard that descended on our last visit at the start of December. So talk could turn to sport.

"It's good to have this kind of weather because it makes everyone more confident and relax because you know for such an event, there is a lot of pressure. So it is good to have the snow now and not in January."

The 10 sporting venues have long been completed - and are undoubtedly impressive. But it's the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, the Fisht Arena, that has proved the biggest headache for organizers running months past its August completion deadline.

Athletes will stay in one of three Olympic Villages complete with branded bedding, gyms, games room and motivational artwork on the walls. The aim to leave no room for excuses when competition starts.

"The Olympic Games are the biggest event in an athlete's career. You wait four years to get a chance to show what you can do at Olympic Games tour to a worldwide audience, and it's a different type of competition. With it comes a little more pressure but that's what we do it for."

"When I started training in May I was really inspired and focused to do things even better. So right now I'm in tough training."

I've competed in three Olympics. Fingers crossed. I'm hoping to go to my fourth in Sochi. The only medal I don't have is an Olympic medal. I've been close at occasions in Torino and in Vancouver but wasn't quite good enough to steal a medal. To be honest, that's what's been fueling me for the last four years. I would love to end my career on a high but if it doesn't happen, I can look at everything else I've achieved and still be pretty proud."

Sochi will provide unique challenges for athletes - as it has already for the organizers of the 2014 winter Olympics. But come February 7, the dramatic setting promises to provide an incredible backdrop to one of the most exciting sporting events of 2014.