Russia has its heart firmly set on victory in the competition to become host city for the 2014 Olympics, Mr Putin said. Sochi’s unique features, including the region’s climate and the compact location of all the sports facilities ensure that Russia’s bid has a good chance of success. If Sochi is chosen, Russia will do everything possible to ensure that the Olympics are organised to the highest possible standards.
The President noted that the work planned to be carried out in Sochi will take place in full regardless of the IOC’s ultimate decision. The decision to bid for the Olympics has already had benefits in that it has helped to concentrate financial and administrative resources in creating a modern winter sports centre in Russia, Mr Putin said. This is all the more important as, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country had been left without major training bases and facilities for holding winter sports competitions.
Renowned Russian sportspeople took part in the meeting, as did legendary Norwegian biathlon champion Ole-Einar Bjorndalen.