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SOCHI, October 28 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced that everything in the preparations to the Sochi Olympics will be done qualitatively and timely. The president recalled that a little bit more than three months, exactly 100 days will be tomorrow before the start of the Winter Olympics.
“The task to build the Olympic sites can be considered fulfilled,” Putin said, adding that certainly there are some issues that should be finalized.
“But we are convinced that everything will be done qualitatively and timely,” the president noted.
In this regard, in the view of the president, the level of preparedness of the Russian Olympic team is prioritized. “Obviously, a worthy and successful performance of our athletes is no less important than faultless holding of the very competitions and the preparations to them,” he said at a meeting with the heads of the federations of the winter sports. He reminded those present at the meeting of the fact that Russia had been the leader in many winter sports for many years and broke the records in the whole world. “We have to acknowledge that we had lost our positions in some disciplines. It is a pity that In the whole scope of disciplines we reduced to lower positions, but in general I believe that this can be improved,” the president added.
He also noted that the government jointly with the federations had taken serious efforts to change this situation for the better. “For instance, the material and technical base of winter sports was modernized substantially. Best Russian and foreign coaches worked with athletes, including those who returned to Russia from abroad,” Putin noted. Moreover, the athletes are provided with medico-biological support massively, the president said. Meanwhile, he noted that big sport victories for Russia are not a matter of prestige or ambitions. “The interrelation of success in top-class sport and the development of mass sport is obvious,” the president said, recalling that the successes of great athletes always gave an impetus to people to go in for sports and lead a healthy lifestyle. “And this is already just a matter of prestige, this is a matter of health of the nation and its future,” Putin noted.
As many as 218 athletes have already received the licences for participation in the Sochi Olympics. According to Russian specialists, they can compete with leading world athletes in ice hockey, bobsleigh and skeleton, ski races, figure skating, biathlon, luge, speed skating and short track speed skating, freestyle (acrobatics, mogul), snowboarding, boardercross and curling. Russian athletes will compete for 71 from 98 sets of medals.
The Russian national team will not participate in the competitions of in men’s and women’s downhill skiing, in the team events of men’s biathlon and men’s ski jumping, as well as new disciplines snowboarding (men’s and women’s slopestyle and halfpipe), freestyle (men’s and women’s slopestyle and halfpipe), in which 12 sets of medals will be competed.
At the previous Winter Olympics in the Canadian city of Vancouver in 2010 the Russian national team has won 15 medals (three gold medals, five silver medals and seven bronze medals) from 86 sets of medals, taking the 11th place in the team standings. In the unofficial team standings in the season of 2013 Russia holds the fifth place, Norway, the United States, Germany and Canada are ahead of the country.
The Russian Paralympic national team will be represented by 64 athletes at the Sochi Paralympics and will compete in all six kinds of sport. A total of 72 sets of medals will be competed. At the Vancouver Paralympics Russia has taken the second place in the team standings after Germany, winning 12 gold medals, 16 silver medals and ten bronze medals. In the autumn-winter season of 2012-2013 the Russian Paralympic team has taken the top place in the unofficial team standings at the world championships, therefore, the specialists forecast their good performance in Sochi.