Vladimir Putin: Good Afternoon.
On behalf of the Russian Federation and its people, I cordially welcome the members of the International Olympic Committee, delegates and guests of the 112th Session of the International Olympic Committee.
First of all, I would like to thank IOC members for their decision to hold this event in the Russian capital. I think this is the right choice. Moscow has repeatedly hosted the most prestigious international sports events. Its people have welcomed leading global athletes and applauded their outstanding achievements.
It is common knowledge that the Moscow Summer Olympics rank among the best Olympic events.
Many famed Olympic athletes, who were born in Moscow, have won over 1,000 Olympic medals. No other city in the world can boast such an impressive Olympic heritage.
Ladies and gentlemen.
The IOC Session, which was held in Moscow 21 years ago, opened up a new stage of the Olympic movement, which became the largest non-political movement in the world.
The main global sporting events have become a wonderful and captivating holiday that unites people and forever remains in their memory. The Olympic Games are rightfully called one of the most outstanding 20th century events.
I would like to emphasise the IOC’s tremendously constructive role in maintaining peace and your obvious achievements in the context of strengthening friendship, respect and cooperation between nations.
Global life is now unthinkable without sports and an involvement in the immensely rich sports culture. The IOC is making a weighty contribution to this. Year after year, the noble and humane ideals of the Olympic movement are winning the hearts of people in all countries because they embody the most important universal human values.
We are proud of the fact that our country has always been in the vanguard of international sports. Russia has always respected the international Olympic movement.
Dear members of the International Olympic Committee.
Ladies and gentlemen.
Today, you are going to sum up the results of a period in the history of the Olympic movement, which is inseparably linked with the name of Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Russia has praised the desire of the seventh IOC President to complete his term in Moscow, where he was appointed in 1980.
Dear Mr Samaranch, I avail myself of the privilege granted to Russia as the organiser of the 112th Session of the International Olympic Committee and would like to thank you on behalf of sports fans the world over for all your achievements in the development of the Olympic movement and sports. I want to stress that the legendary Olympic traditions preserved by you have an intransient universal human significance and must be preserved and expanded.
I have no doubt that the current forum’s decisions will help elevate the Olympic movement to new heights, and that they will expand the glory and grandeur of Olympic ideals in the 21st century.
Ladies and gentlemen
I declare the 112th Session of the International Olympic Committee open.