As in all Winter and Summer Olympic hosted cities there are three quite separate but distinct things happening in this religious arena (for want of a word).
Each Olympic city's organising committee is required by the Olympic Charter to provide a religious facility for the world's athletes and officials within the Village/s precincts for worship. This includes Christian (Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant), Islam, Hindi, Buddhist, Jewish and sometimes others as well.
The Protestants tend to take very seriously this opportunity and depending on the local city organising committee's proclivities for generosity in religious matters, bible studies might be held for Christian athletes, more modern forms of Christian music provided, lively worship services and opportunities for one to one evangelism.
Having been involved in Olympic ministry since Los Angeles 1984, it has been my experience that the more Christian a nation is, the most restrictions are placed on such Protestant outreach within the Olympic village, mainly due to a concern over the sensibilities of other faiths. On the other hand, it seems to me, that as Russia is trying to accommodate every good-will, therefore such restrictions will be more relaxed.
In my voluntary with the Olympics, sending to the host city research data of 34 years of Olympic Village Religious Services my wife Delma and I met with the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Village manager and his team 12 months prior and Sochi people were listening in. They have a very agreeable model to work with from Vancouver.
The second Olympic City Christian outreach is that developed and run by the Christian community as an organised and combined model whereby maximum evangelism potential can be sourced.
The third Olympic City Christian outreach is where Christian ministries that have long standing associations with Olympic outreach get involved and have their respective base links in that city and are usually robust in their evangelism.
For Sochi, these again will play a critical role in Christian evangelism during the Winter Olympics which commence next week on Thursday 6 February.
These are some links associated with the Sochi Winter Olympic Christian outreach:
What is Engage Sochi?
Soar International Ministries
Prayer for Sochi Winter Olympic Outreach
Numbers of Australians associated with these broader Olympic ministries will be in Sochi such as YWAM (Youth With A Mission).
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Dr Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at