President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear friends!
Of course, first of all I would like to thank you very much on behalf of all your Russian fans. You have delighted the whole country and given it a huge emotional lift, which is always important and particularly important right now.
I seem to recall that this is not the first time that we have met in this setting. May I suggest that it would be a good idea to make this an annual event. For the second year in a row you played brilliantly, did not lose a single game, and in the finals defeated one of the best teams in the world. And this is of course a magnificent achievement. I understand that as a result of this victory, the won-loss record of the Soviet and Russian national team, on the one hand, and the Canadian national team, on the other, is now in our favour. That is great. Well done!
I think that you are well aware of what an emotional experience this was for our fans. Once again, I would just like to join them in saying that on that night the whole country was cheering for you. I watched it on TV with bated breath right to the dying seconds. And of course you kept us in suspense until the very end, and then we all heaved a sigh of relief and felt this immense exultation, this surge of emotion. It was magnificent.
I want to say a special word of thanks on behalf of the fans and I guess on behalf of the whole team to Vyacheslav Bykov. You have prepared the team brilliantly and won it all for the second time — the result speaks for itself. I would like to wish you continued success. Moreover, we have lots of new challenges, I mean the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver and of course our regular season and a new championship. I think we can finally say that something that millions of Russian fans have been dreaming of, starting in the 90s, is now beginning to come true. Russia has regained its former glory and you are the ones who've done it. Well done. Thank you very much.
Well, that's that. What else can I say? Once again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. This is an outstanding event in the life of Russian hockey and for the hockey world. Congratulations!
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It is always very exciting to watch our team play. I have been a spectator for a long time, since the Soviet era, and every time it's so emotional right up to the final game, because sport really is sport, as our head coach quite rightly just pointed out, and every athlete has the right to make a mistake. And despite the fact that then there is always a serious review of what happened, as there should be, we still try to be as understanding about these things as possible. But when we come to the finish line and a mistake can cost us the gold medal, and when our hockey's reputation, the reputation of our sporting abilities in general, is at stake, then you realise how important a test this is. And we're sitting behind the glass – I simply cannot imagine how difficult it is, how much pressure there is for those actually playing the game.
Do you know why I am telling everyone this? We have had great teams that have won brilliant victories and become world champions. We have had great teams that have not become world champions. That is also the case. Even though they played really well and probably at that particular moment maybe they actually were the best in the world. It all depends on luck and destiny. But what I would like to say is that the desire and strength of will that you have shown is simply unprecedented. And in life, not just in sports, strength of will is everything. It is the most important thing in achieving any result, all the more so when you're trying to do something as difficult as winning a world championship.
Thank you so much. We are proud of you.