President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends!
I have invited you here to express my gratitude to all those who took part in the preparations for the opening of the Olympic Games and was directly involved in this grand event. We all believe – I am sure I can speak for all sports fans – that the show was spectacular, worthy of Russia and truly grand.
However, I want to draw your attention to the fact that this is only the beginning. This is particularly true for the organisers of the Olympic Games, the organising committee, all those responsible for holding the Games, the closing ceremony, and then the Paralympic Games – so we still have a colossal amount of work ahead of us.
I very much hope that everyone who is directly involved in this project, and there are many such people here, will not slacken their efforts. We mustn't relax after this brilliant start, but on the contrary, mobilise all our resources.
The beginning, I repeat, was a spectacular, memorable and very important part of the whole Olympic programme, which required a lot of energy and financial resources. But it was worth it to be able to show our nation's entire history in such a bright, beautiful, and meaningful display, and make a great start as the hosts of the Olympic Games in general. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for this achievement and hope to continue our work together in the coming days.
Thank you very much.