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President Vladimir Putin met in St Petersburg on Thursday with International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and saw Sochi Winter Olympic Games medals. Putin took in his hands the gold Olympic medal and the model Olympic torch.
Putin invited Rogge to the dinner for all the world Olympic sport leaders, the Komsomolskaya Pravda writes. The president took the opportunity to express support for the international federation of wrestling, which may be eliminated from the Olympic programme and has to break though a tough selection process. The day before, the IOC commission confirmed three contenders for the 2020 Games participation -- wrestling, which is very popular in Russia, squash and baseball.
Rogge noted Russia made a great contribution to support the Olympic movement, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The official said they very much liked the pace of the preparation for the Sochi Games and believed the Olympic Games would be fantastic.
The authors of the critical report "The Winter Olympics in the Subtropics", Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk, also believe the Sochi Games are fantastic, the newspaper continues. They compared the spendings for the construction of Olympic facilities for last Olympics with the Sochi one, which differs for its clearly overstated estimates at first glance. However, independent experts, after reading the report, noted that it was impossible to correctly compare the estimates of the last and future Olympic Games. In addition to the devaluation of the dollar, it is necessary to take into account the expenditures for the construction of the infrastructure that in other countries is usually already developed. In Sochi, many communication lines have been built anew.
For its expenditures - over 50 billion dollars, the Sochi Olympic Games are more expensive than the spendings for the facilities of all the 21 winter Olympics. The bulk of the funds are state expenditures (of the budget, state bank loans and state guarantees). The most costly Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 are cheaper than those of Sochi. According to the official data, it took the Chinese 43 billion dollars, the newspaper cites the report. The final sum of expenditures for the Sochi Games preparation has exceeded the initial estimates about four times. The authors of the report say the growth of the initial estimates was much more moderate in other countries. Olympic facilities on the average became approximately twice as expensive during the construction, and winter Olympics estimates grew less than the spendings for the summer games.
Most experts noted there was “an emotional charge” of the authors and their intention to say only about negative things in the report. Doubts arise about the calculations and whether the comparison is correct.
According to the chairman of the board of Concern General Invest, Andrei Nikityuk, the government makes efforts for Russia, as in western countries, to have several economic centres. The decision is quite logic to develop Sochi as a centre of tourism. The Olympic Games are a good reason for this. Before recent time, the south was neglected. At present, following the state funds, private capitals will come there, Nikityuk believes.
However, on the whole, the authors of the report, according to experts, all the same correctly pointed out the main problems of the Olympics. Al appearances, the estimates are really overstated.