This post about the world championships is more about the event itself, I have been to every world championships since 1999 and I have to say this is probably the most organised one i have been too. Japan in 2003 and 2010 were obviously well run, Paris in 2011 too butt his was different, very different.
There was an entire street (like a shopping street with no cars) set up as a fan zone. This was a little way from the stadium but was a great idea. There were cafés etc all along the street, a stool selling official merchandise, a large screen showing the medal fights, all the shops had world champs branding on the windows and there was free wifi set up in most of the places there. Was a pretty good idea, made you feel like you were in a kind of safe zone.
At the venue was a judo park, this was the area immediately outside, yiu didn’t need a ticket to get in because you could download a poster from their free app, screen shot it on your phone and get in. There was a food court, judo stools and a kids area as well as some entertainment stuff.
The arena wasn’t as big as some I have been to but was very clean, very organised, security was quick, there was food on sale etc Generally the area was very good but could have been bigger and my biggest bug bear, no free wifi inside, I have yet to go to a world champs that has free wifi set up, for me this is a very basic need.
We stayed in one of the budget hotels on the official list. All of the official hotel had these volunteers in the reception areas, they all wore these red and white judo t-shirts and all spoke English. This was very helpful, they help sort hotel issues, transport, taxis etc I think there was also a policeman in every hotel, there certainly was in ours.
Also every day in the reception of every hotel was a newspaper about the judo the day before. These were actually quite a nice touch. The PDFs are below.
At all world there is transport between the official hotels and the venue (certainly the main hotels) but in Chelyabinsk there was a large minibus every half our to and from the venue and our hotel, I assume more regularly from the bigger hotels. All of these had world champs graphics all over them and were free to use.
Generally very friendly!
I have never been to Russia before, I don’t know what I expected but I have to say it was very friendly and generally very easy to get around and do stuff. Overall I was pretty impressed.