Interview with Sergey Shishkarev

Sergey Shishkarev, a Deputy of the Russian State Duma, spoke to Russia Today about Sochi's chances of being chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and how sport is developing in Russia.

Russia Today: Just one day to go. Do you think we can win? What are the chances?

Sergey Shishkarev: For me it is a, let's say, a personal question because in the State Duma I represent Krasnodar region (where Sochi is situated). Just three days ago I traveled from Sochi to Anapa and spoke to the people and got their impressions. So I think that our chances are very good and with each day they get higher and higher because we have a very good bid, very big support from the government and mainly from our president. He is very popular not only in Russia, we should consider this, and he will represent our bid himself and I think it is one of the points that helps us to win.

RT: What do you think this bid actually means for the development of sport in the country?

S.S.: It is not a secret that we are sport lovers and if we take into consideration that for many years we got a lot of awards, a lot of medals during not only the Winter Olympics but also the Summer Olympic Games. I think this event will create increased opportunities for people to go in for sport again and I think it is like a national idea because we are well-developed economically, we have built a new democracy and now it is high time to develop sports.

RT: Right now a question for you as a politician. What role, do you think, politics may play in the decision making?

S.S.: Frankly speaking, if we look at the symbols and principles of the international Olympic movement, the politics should be out of the Games and out of the movement. But in this case I think it is a pity for it might play a great, significant role because nobody likes a strong Russia and I think that we have a lot of opponents on this issue around the world. I believe it will serve as proof of Russia being a really leading nation in the world. That is why we will have certain problems on the part of politics. But generally I would like to point out and I stress it again that we do have very strong chances and we not just might – we must win.