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SOCHI, February 24. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared the 3rd Winter World Military Games in the Russian Black Sea resort open at a gala ceremony at Sochi’s Ice Cube stadium.
"Dear participants and guests! I declare the 3rd 2017 Winter World Military Games open!" Medvedev said, wishing the athletes to "have excellent results and show restraint and respect for opponents."
"I congratulate participants and visitors, fans of winter sports, on this international festivity of sport," the prime minister said.
The 3rd Winter World Military Games will be held in Sochi on February 24-28. Their program includes seven competitions in biathlon, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, ski orienteering, ski-mountaineering, sport climbing, and short track speed skating.
At least 26 countries have put forward over 400 athletes to represent them in personal and team competitions of the 2017 Winter World Military Games with 44 sets of medals (gold, silver and bronze) up for grabs.
The games are organized by the International Military Sports Council (CISM), a major sports organization ranked third after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International University Sports Federation. Russia won the bid to host the games at the 70th CISM General Assembly in Kuwait in May 2015.
Established in 1948 CISM organized first-ever Military World Games in 1995 and they involved summer competitions. The Winter Military World Games were first held in Italy’s Aosta Valley in 2010 and then in French Annecy in 2013.
Russia’s southern city of Sochi boasts a number of up-to-date sports facilities, both in the coastal and the mountainous areas, ready to host winter sports competitions at a global level.
In February and March of 2014 the Black Sea resort city of Sochi hosted Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which, according to international sports officials, athletes and visitors, were organized at the highest level possible and provided up-to-date infrastructure at all levels as well as security for all participants in the event.