SOCHI, February 07. /ITAR-TASS/. The Sochi Olympic Games will give an opportunity to have a fresh look at Russia, its achievements, specifics and traditions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday at a reception in honor of top-ranking guests of the Games.
Putin once again thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for giving Russia the right to implement this ambitious project and prove its commitment to the Olympic values.
“We are sure the Games will impart energies and good impressions to the fans across the globe, will fill their hearts with pride for their athletes and countries, and what is more important, will inspire more people to do sports, and will give an opportunity to have a fresh look at our country, at Russia, its achievements, its specifics, its traditions,” he said.
The Olympic Games, in his words, were an ambitious project. “But these are healthy ambitions that are aimed to improve understanding between the peoples of the world,” he stressed. “I remember when seven year ago I asked members of the International Olympic Committee to support the Olympic expectations of millions of Russians, and we have done our utmost not to let you down.”
Among the guests at the reception were President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge, IOC member Jean-Claude Killy, other representatives of the International Olympic Committee, presidents of China, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Croatia, the Czech republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Switzerland, prime ministers of Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, Morocco, the Netherlands, Turkey, Romania, Lebanon, and secretaries general of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Participants also included Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, head of the Sochi-2014 organizing committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, and Mayor of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov.
Before the reception, the Russian leader welcomed each of the guests, having exchanged a couple of words.