Speech at the Krasnaya Polyana Ski Resort Opening Ceremony 2008-01-02 15:29:44 Sochi President Vladimir Putin: Dear friends! Today we are celebrating a really momentous occasion – we are opening the first ski resort in Krasnaya Polyana. And first and foremost I would like to thank the builders, engineers and all those who worked here and did their job well, on time, and in compliance with environmental standards. This is a nice gift not only for professional athletes but also for the general public, for those who love an active lifestyle, who love winter sports. This is the first step in preparing Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. We still have to build a large number of sports facilities here in Krasnya Polyana and I am confident that this will be done on schedule and with the same quality that we are witnessing here. I would like to thank Gazprom for investing the necessary funds here. It has already been said that we are planning to build other facilities with Gazprom's help, including a ski station, hotels, additional ski routes, and doubling the length of these routes. This complex is truly a competitor, a real competitor for foreign ski resorts. Everything was done using the highest standards. And in this regard, I would like to say that of course the best result that we can expect from our athletes is first and foremost any one person's, any one athlete's, victory. Nevertheless, to ensure that we witness more such victories, ones that make the whole country proud, we need to learn to build this type of sports complex, and learn how to maintain them. I am confident that Krasnaya Polyana will serve as an example to prove that Russia can construct such sports complexes. I repeat, this is a gift not only for high-level athletes, but also for the public at large. This is the best possible contribution to the development of children's and youth sports. I would like to congratulate you all, and to wish you all the best for the coming year. Many thanks.