SOCHI, December 8 (Itar-Tass) —— President Vladimir Putin attended Sochi’s Iceberg ice palace on Saturday, December 8, to watch the Grand Prix of figure skating final now underway in the city.
He was joined by Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games; Gilbert Felli, IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games; Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko; and Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov.
The Iceberg ice palace is the first Olympic facility to have been commission in Sochi. It can seat 12,000 people. Its name, which sounds identically in Russia, English and German, comes from the wave-shaped roof which, together with the facade, resembles a floating iceberg.
Putin also talked with members of the International Olympic Committee, leaders of the International Skating Union and Russian figure skating coaches. He assured them that the construction of Olympic facilities is proceeding as scheduled and asked to comment on their quality.
International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta said the situation was positive except for transport problems and asked, jokingly, if Russians pay for gasoline if they have so many cars.
Putin said, “Everyone pays for everything but the number of cars in families is growing”. He stressed that the task is not to reduce the number of cars but to improve road infrastructure and this work is underway now.
“We will finish building the infrastructure by the start of the Olympic Games or probably sooner,” the president said.
He thanked everyone for their remarks about the revival of figure skating in Russia and noted that all conditions would be created for all coaches and athletes from other countries to feel a friendly and warm atmosphere in Sochi during the Olympic Games.
“This is our number one task as the host of the Olympic Games. I hope the judges will appreciate that,” Putin said.