Watching the show together with the Russian President at the Iceberg sports palace were President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission Jean-Claude Killy and IOC Executive Director Gilbert Felli.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Exactly one year ago we lit the Olympic flame here in Sochi – the main sports event of the year.
For Russia, the XXII Olympics and the XI Paralympics were very special. It was the first time we hosted the Winter Olympics. For us it was a matter of honour to conduct the Games at the highest possible level and to show the beauty and diversity of this country, its hospitality and openness to the world.
It took us almost seven years to prepare for the Olympics, the entire nation worked hard, all together. We not only built great sports facilities, but also transformed the entire region, turning greater Sochi into a modern resort, a major world-class sports hub.
The Olympic heritage, the potential left behind is truly unprecedented. This was made possible by all those who took part in this work.
Suffice it to say that this winter holiday season in Sochi was record-breaking. Hundreds of thousands of people discovered active recreation, sports and holidaymaking in Russia.
Today I would like once again to thank all those who took part in preparing and conducting the Olympic Games: construction workers, organisers, journalists, volunteers and, of course, our wonderful athletes, who crowned our Olympic project.
When it was all just beginning, I visited the sites that were to become sports facilities and the simple question kept coming to my head “Will we really do it?” Later, after it was all over, I had another question “Did we really do it?” Yes, we did it, the entire country, all of Russia did it. However, we should not stop here, we should move on, in the spirit of the Olympic motto “Higher, faster, stronger!”