President Vladimir Putin: Dear Ms Chairwoman [chairwoman of the evaluation commission of the International Olympic Committee Nawal Al Moutawakel],
Allow me to wish you a warm welcome to the Moscow Kremlin. It is very pleasant for me to have the chance to meet you here in Moscow. I know that you have had two days of quite intensive work, and have been able to do a great deal in this time, to look around and discuss things with your Russian colleagues.
I think that you will agree with me that we are right to consider our country, Russia, to be one of the leading international sporting powers. In Moscow alone, there are over 500 Olympic champions. I don’t know what other city in the world can boast such a sparkling array of talents, of sporting talents.
25 years ago, Russian capital, Moscow, was the capital of the 22nd Olympic Games. We know the international political conditions in which the Olympic Games were held then. Thank God, these times have passed. The world has changed, and Russia itself has changed. But one thing has not changed – the Russian people’s interest in sport.
Back then, 25 years ago, Moscow showed that it could organise such impressive, international sporting competitions on the highest level. Since that time over 100 European and world championships were held in Moscow in various types of sport. In Moscow today, there are already over one third of the objects which could be used in the future Olympic Games. And by 2010, regardless of whether the Olympic Games are to be held in Moscow, the Moscow authorities and the federal Government plan to build over 300 sporting objects in the capital of Russia.
These are, anyway, the technical components of the Olympic Games. I would add to this the even greater capabilities of Moscow in organising leisure and relaxation time for tourists, sport journalists and the sportsmen themselves. I think that this is a very important component, but not the only one. No less important is the fact that Russia fully shares all the humanitarian principles of the Olympic ideals. This especially applies of course to Russia today. And in this sense, holding the Olympic Games in Moscow would make it possible to further develop these principles in Russian society. But there is also another historic component – 2012 will mark 100 years since Russian sportsmen have taken part in the Olympic Games.
We are very pleased not just to note the development of the Olympic movement, but we also consider the development of the paraplegic Olympics to be no less important. Here, of course, we do not just pay attention to the sporting component, but also the social component of the paraplegic Olympic movement. And in this sense, we are ready to do everything to organise the paraplegic Olympics at the necessary level.
Dear Ms Chairwoman, dear colleagues,
We believe that the decision which will be made later on where the 30th Olympic Games will be held will be well-founded, balanced and fair. And if the decision is made in Moscow’s favour, of course, then the Moscow authorities and the federal government will do everything in our power to organise the Olympic Games at the highest level, to ensure that this event is a bright and memorable event of international importance, that it helps to develop international ties, relations between the peoples of our planet, and helps to develop friendship, interaction and mutual understanding.
And in conclusion I would like to say the most important thing. Of course, the mood of the official authorities – local, city, and federal – is a very important component in the organisation of the Olympic Games, but it is still not the most important. The most important thing is the attitude to the Olympic Games shared by the vast majority of the Russian population. I am certain that the Olympic Games, if they are held in Russia, in Moscow, will be supported in the most active manner by the majority of citizens of the Russian Federation.
Thank you very much for your attention.