7 February 2013, 22:32

Sochi: Olympic Dream coming true

Sochi: Olympic Dream coming true

Thursday marked one year to the opening of Russia’s first Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi on the coast of the Black Sea. Appearing at a gala held in Sochi’s main ice arena on the occasion, IOC President Jacques Rogge extended formal invitations to delegates from national Olympic committees.

At a subsequent meeting with officials in Sochi, President Vladimir Putin looked into the progress of preparations for the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics. He also spoke about the unifying role played by the Sochi vision in the five and a half years since Russia was awarded the right to host the 2014 Winter Games:

"We have worked very hard in order to accomplish the Olympic preparations on time. Now, we are one hundred percent confident that they will be accomplished on time and with top-notch quality in all aspects. All of Sochi’s sporting venues are ready for hosting test competitions. Those that have already hosted tournaments have won unanimous international praise".

The Russian leader inspected the Olympic Park, ice arenas and the Olympic media center. He pointed out that the coastal venues are within 30 minutes’ travel of the mountain ones, which makes Sochi at least 4 times more compact than the host city of any other Olympics.

And this is what chief Russian Sochi organizer Dmitry Chernyshenko had to say:

"The 40 or so test tournaments to be held this year will convince the world that new Russia is a dynamic modern country, and its 2014 Winter Olympics will be the most innovative in history. The organizers will make sure that they are ready to host the Olympians".

President Putin instructed officials to use the infrastructure built for the Sochi Olympics for facilitating economic development throughout southern Russia in the decades to follow. After the Olympics, Sochi itself must remain a world-class hub of winter sports and a year-round tourist attraction.

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