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ATHENS, October 5 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will give an unforgettable holiday to the world at the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Vice-Premier Dmitry Kozak said.
Speaking at a solemn ceremony of giving the Olympic flame, Kozak said: “For me it’s big honour, responsibility and pleasure to be here, with you on this land, which became the cradle of civilisation and gave the Olympic Games to the world.”
“Thirty years ago the Olympic flame was in our country. New Russia got the right to hold the Olympic Games due to the world Olympic movement’s support and trust,” the Russian vice-premier said, adding, “Russia can be considered a continent. A total of 190 people of Russia speak 200 languages. Russia has a rich history, its own culture and the unique nature.”
“The Olympic flame will start its move throughout Russia tomorrow. The Olympic Torch Relay will be launched tomorrow. It will proceed from Russia’s westernmost point of Kaliningrad [a European city, which numbers 1000 years] and to Chukotka, which borders Alaska. In 123 days the Olympic flame will open the winter Olympic Games in Sochi,” he said.
“Today we can say Russia will fulfil all obligations and give the unforgettable holiday to the world: it will give friendship and mutual respect to the world,” he said.
Over several years jointly with the International Olympic Committee Russia did much by realising the major investment project in the history of the Olympic Games, Kozak said.
“New Olympic facilities were built. The new and modern infrastructure was created in Sochi. It will develop sports in the future and become an attraction centre for living and future generations of our citizens and the guests,” the Russian vice-premier said.
This project assumes paramount significance for Russia. “Its implementation will make positive changes in different spheres. The Olympic Games gave an impetus to the voluntary movement. Russia entered the world club, which guarantee comfortable conditions for disabled people,” Kozak said.
He thanked the Greek people for preserving and multiplying the Olympic values. “I want to thank our OIC partners and friends and I want to express gratitude for your trust and the invaluable contribution that you made to carrying out Russia’s project,” the vice-premier said.
“I’m sure that the Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi will open a new page in the history of the Olympic movement and that it make weighty contribution to strengthening trust, friendship and mutual respect between the peoples of different cultures and traditions, different countries and continents. Welcome to Russia! Welcome to Sochi!” Kozak said.