SOCHI, February 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday praised the XXII Olympic Winter Games in the southern Russian resort of Sochi that ended on Sunday.
“The Olympic Games were brilliant, I feel proud for our country, for the way everything was organized, for the hospitality that residents of Sochi and other regions showed, for the work of volunteers and, of course, for the fantastic performance of our athletes,” Medvedev said.
The premier said he had not thought Russia would take the first place in the medal standings.
Team Russia finished the 2014 Sochi Olympics with the overall result of 33 won medals (13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals) surpassing its previous Winter Olympics record of 11 gold medals, set at the 1994 Winter Games in Norway’s Lillehammer.
Medvedev said there had not been many cases when the host of Winter Olympics won the highest overall number of medals. These cases include Norway’s result at the 1952 Oslo Games (16 medals, including 7 golds, 3 silvers and 6 bronzes) and the United States’ result at the 1932 Lake Placid Games (12 medals, including 6 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes).
“We have entered the global elite of winter sports again,” Medvedev said.
The 2014 Sochi Games were the first Winter Olympics since 1952 when the Games’ hosting country won the highest overall number of awards as well as the biggest number of gold medals.
Speaking about his impressions about the Russian men’s ice hockey’s team at the Sochi Games, Medvedev said the team’s defeat was bitter for him.
Russia’s team was in fifth place at the tournament, losing to Finland in men’s play-offs quarterfinals on February 19.
Medvedev specially mentioned the role volunteers had played at the Winter Olympics.
“They created a totally new atmosphere with their cordial, sincere smiles,” he said.
The Russian prime minister said all companies that took part in the construction of facilities and infrastructure in Sochi should receive state support.
He also spoke against establishing a gambling zone in Sochi.
Earlier in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sochi should be developed as a large resort centre after the XXII Olympic Winter Games.
Medvedev said in January prior to the Games that Olympic facilities in Sochi should be used reasonably after the Olympics, and efforts should be made to make Sochi the country’s best holiday destination.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told journalists in January that the Olympics would cost the country some $6.4 billion.