Interview with Svetlana Zhurova

Svetlana Zhurova, Russia's speed skating gold medalist at the Turin Olympic Games and one of the members of the Sochi Olympic bid team, spoke to Russia Today about the the country's chances of winning the 2014 games.

Russia Today: Tell us a little bit more on the atmosphere between the Sochi Olympic bid team?

Svetlana Zhurova: We feel like during the Olympic Games somewhere in Turin or elsewhere. The atmosphere is very much alike. I am happy to be here. We have around six Olympic champions here in Guatemala. And we are all trying to pass over this Olympic spirit to other people.

RT: You won gold in Turin after your mother. One of the criteria for the IOC is a kind of legacy holding an Olympic event. What do you feel a possible win for Sochi and for future generations of potential athletes will mean?

S. Zh.: Indeed, we have a very good legacy to pass over to future generations. When I myself was a young girl and watched the 1994 Olympics on TV, I was extremely proud of my country. I was really keen to become an athlete myself. It became my dream and I said to myself that I wanted to be an Olympic champion – and I did it.

You see, when you watch the Olympic Games broadcasts from other countries, it's one thing but when your own country hosts the Olympics it's a completely different feeling. I think that more kids would go in for sport if they had this unique legacy.

RT: What do you feel are the strong points of Sochi's bid?

S.Zh.: Sochi has an enormous support from the whole country, not only from business and the government. And I'm sure that almost all Russian people would like to be with us here to pledge their support to the Olympic bid team.