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4 Jul, 2007 12:57

Sochi makes final plea for Olympics

With just hours remaining before the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics is announced, tensions are running high. The Russian Olympic bid team has made its final presentation in front of the IOC, stressing the huge support of all Russians.

When taking the floor Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to “to make the stay of olympians and paralympians, spectators, journalist and guests in Sochi a safe, enjoyable and memorable experience”.

He stressed the uniqueness of the city in terms of its geographical position.

“We guarantee that the Olympic cluster in Sochi will be completed on time. We are allocating around $US 12 BLN for this. The cluster is going to be an original national and international sports venue. Special emphasis is placed on the environment, security, infrastructure, up-to-date means of communications. 70% of participants will be housed within a five-minute walking distance of the competition venues,” said President Putin.

The subject was then brought up in detail by Dmitry Chernyshenko, the head of the Olympic Bid Committee, in a multimedia presentation projected on screen.

All members of the Russian bid team evoked some personal, emotional moments and their memories of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

“Twenty-seven years ago at that time I was a student interpreter at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. At that time those games provided a window to a world that many of us could only imagine but the Olympic family made it possible for us to dream. At the closing ceremony I was crying watching the teddy bear mascot flying away and I could hardly imagine then that I would be standing here today in front of you, asking for your confidence to bring the Olympic dream back to Russia,” urged Elena Anikina, the Chairman of the Board of the Olympic Bid Committee.

The floor was also given to Olympic champions Evgueny Plushchenko and Svetlana Zhurova who said Sochi is sure to make an excellent place for athletes to stay, a real home away from home.

Chiharu Igaya, Chairman of IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2014 Olympics Winter Games, addressed the public to sum up the work of the Commission to compare advantages and challenges for the three candidate cities.