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International ski federation head praises construction work in Sochi

January 14, 2014, 20:47 UTC+3 14
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GENEVA, January 14 (Itar-Tass) - The president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) on Tuesday praised construction work in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi that will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games next month.

“What has been done in Sochi over seven years is amazing,” Gian-Franco Kasper told Itar-Tass in an interview, adding that “organizing Olympic Games is always a complicated task.”

“The scale and range of the Games require years-long planning and a huge infrastructure,” Kasper said. “I like citing Alpine resorts as an example. Decades are usually required to build them, whereas in Sochi everything has been built for seven years. That's impressive.”

He said it would become possible to assess the quality of facilities during the Winter Olympics, which are to run February 7-23, 2014.

Kasper said he was looking forward to the Games.

Regarding the safety of participants and spectators, the FIS president said he was convinced Sochi would be “the safest place on Earth.”

Kasper’s words came weeks after two suicide bombings left 34 people dead and injured dozens of others in late December in attacks on a railway terminal and a trolleybus in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Sochi.

Russia’s authorities have enhanced security measures ahead of the Sochi Games.

A North Caucasus Islamist militant leader, Doku Umarov, wanted both by Russia and the United States, in December called for attacks on the Winter Olympics in Sochi. A large-scale security operation was launched in early January to protect the area that will host the Olympics.

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