The message reads, in part:
“Today we are holding a gathering at the Grand Kremlin Palace with our outstanding athletes, coaches and mentors, heads of athletic organisations and people who have devoted themselves to Russian sport and the development of its wonderful traditions. First of all, I want to express my warmest appreciation to our athletic veterans. It was you that boosted Russia’s prestige as a great athletic power through your courage, tenacity, dedication and your outstanding triumphs. Today, you continue to be heroes and idols for millions of people.
This is a special year for Russia. The XXII Winter Olympic Games were a great success. Our national team won a record number of medals, creating a beautiful, unforgettable celebration for all the fans. In the near future, in 2016, the Olympic flame will light up in Brazil.
The preparations for the Games are fully underway. I am confident that the Russian athletes have everything they need – talent, character and willpower – to achieve exceptional results and contribute bright, victorious pages to the history of the Olympic movement.”