‘You can do it!’ – Putin to Olympians
“I wish that the Russian flag will be raised and the country’s anthem played as often as possible after your victories at the Olympic stadiums in London,” RIA-Novosti news agency cites Putin as saying. “Thousands of people will be looking at you from the stands and millions all over the world on TV. Our Olympic team as a whole and each individual member is capable of achieving a lot. Sports – especially, high performance sports – require plenty of hard work, discipline and, of course, luck, but most of all – self-confidence and the ability to overcome yourself.”
“Many times you’ve proven that you can do it. Show us that once again at the most important sporting competition of all – the Olympics,” he added.
The official send-off ceremony took place in Kremlin on Saturday, with 140 athletes, coaches and sporting officials attending.
In addition to meeting with the head of state, the Olympians laid flowers on the grave of the Unknown Soldier and held a photo-shoot on Red Square.
The majority of the country’s athletes are expected to take off for London on July 24 and 25.
All in all, the line-up for Team Russia at the Olympics will consist of 436 athletes, 208 men and 228 women.
The Olympic Games are to take place in the British capital between July 27 and August 12.