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IOC official says Russia organized outstanding Winter Olympics

February 16, 2014, 7:01 UTC+3 OTTAWA
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OTTAWA, February 16,  /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has organized outstanding Winter Olympic Games, which are currently underway in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in an interview with Canadian daily Globe and Mail.

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia kicked off with the opening ceremony on February 7 and would run until February 23. The Olympics will be followed by Winter Paralympic Games between March 7 and 16.

“I think they are great Olympics,” the daily quoted Richard Pound, the 71-year-old IOC lawyer from Canada’s Montreal, as saying.

“Up in the mountains they’ve built the equivalent of a lot of those major European ski destinations in six years instead of 60 years,” Pound, who was once a vice president of the IOC, said. When they want to do something, they get it done. People have a tendency to underestimate the Russians.”

Asked whether the Games were worth the sum paid by Russians to organize them, the official said “For sure.”

“For the host countries, they do a number of things, one of which is the focus on sports so you don’t do badly in your own Games. The top-down effect in the host country is huge,” Pound said.

The daily cited the figure of over $50 billion paid by Russia to organize the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

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