The start of the 2014 Winter Olympics are just days away and NewsChannel 34 has a team in Sochi keeping us updated. Tim Kelchner and Neile Jones are covering the games for us as the excitement continues to build.

Grand architecture, breathtaking views, and palm trees. That’s what athletes and spectators will see as they prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

While the temperatures are tropical in the ‘coastal cluster’ where all of the indoor events will take places…the ‘mountain cluster’ provides a snowy scenic setting for skiing, snowboarding, and all of the outdoor events.

The USA is one of a record 88 nations competing in this year’s games, including 7 countries that are participating in the winter Olympics for the first time.

As fans continue to arrive in Sochi, they’ll be watching over 2,500 athletes competing in 98 events over the next several days. All of them with one goal in mind, the opportunity to take home a gold medal.

For the first time ever in winter Olympic history…some events will take place on thursday one day before the opening ceremony

Qualification for men’s slopestyle will kickoff off the games at 10 a.m. local time, followed by ladies’s slopestyle and ladies mogul qualification to round out the day.