The IOC delegation headed by Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy is on an inspection trip to the 2014 Olympic Games’ host city, during which they will visit Olympic facilities currently under construction, assess the quality of test competitions, and hear reports on the preparations for the Games.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Killy, colleagues and friends, I am very pleased to see you again and I welcome you to Sochi.
As far as I know, this is the IOC Coordination Commission’s seventh visit now. I know you have planned a busy programme for assessing the state of preparations for the Games.
All of you have much experience in organising big international sports events, and all of us, of course — the Russian leadership and everyone involved in this project – want to make use of your experience and practice and ensure that all of the work carried out is put through a most strict and thorough audit.
I hope you have already had the chance to visit a few sites and see that the work continues. We continue to invest and build infrastructure. We hope that once the Games are over, all that we have built will remain an inheritance that works for the future of this region and indeed our entire country, attracting tourists and everyone who takes an interest in Russia and wants to develop ties with our country.
The sports aspect is the main thing, of course. Following established practice, facilities are tested by holding trial competitions, and we plan to organise around 60 such events. Yesterday and today, (I hope you had the chance to watch too), we followed a stage in the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup. It was with great pleasure that I presented this trophy yesterday for the first time in our country’s history. We hope very much that Russia will become a regular host of part of this competition, as this will do much to help develop skiing here.
The work continues. We are putting the effort into all of the different areas. The volunteer movement is growing fast now here. I saw our volunteers today. How many do we have now?
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak: We have around 500 now. The selection process started four days ago, and in just these four days we have already received 20,000 applications.
Dmitry Medvedev: Twenty thousand applications already – it is a good sign. This is something new here after all and we need to attract people, explain to them why this is interesting and important. We will work on this and we have set up volunteer centres at all of the big Russian universities.
One final thing I want to say at the start of this meeting is that we have only two years to go now before the Olympics. This is enough time to complete our preparations, but at the same time it is not a long period, and so we hope very much to have a frank discussion with you on the work that still needs to be done.
Once again, I wish you a warm welcome to Sochi.