POSTED: January 2nd 2009

Putin supports Sochi with Moscow ski race

Vladimir Putin with the organizers and skiers / Images: Government of the Russian Federation
Vladimir Putin with the organizers and skiers / Images: Government of the Russian Federation

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has stepped up to support a capital ski event to build up enthusiasm for the Sochi winter Games and promote the development of skiing in Russia.

Putin demonstrated his personal approval by attending the specially-constructed ski venue for an invitational parallel slalom built in the heart of Moscow. The ramp is 56 meters high and approximately 30meters wide and the 150m slope contains 14 gates for each racer. Snow was even brought 3,500 kilometres from Siberia to fill the ramp.

Putin personally greeted 16 of the world’s top slalom skiers from the men’s Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tour at the venue after they had been invited on a tour of the Kremlin.

He said: “I want to thank all the athletes, coaches and organisers of the event for your decision to hold the Alpine Ski Cup in Moscow. It is a great New Year's gift for all lovers of alpine skiing and of all winter sports.

“This will promote alpine skiing both in the world and here, in Russia. Everything we do today will be a first. It is the first ever competition in this sport, and it will be held in Russia's capital.”

The 16 participants included Jean-Baptiste Grange, the slalom World Cup leader, Italy's Manfred Moelgg , last season's slalom World Cup champion, Austria's Mario Matt , the defending slalom world champion along with Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, the current World Cup leader, Germany's Felix Neureuther, Sweden's Jens Byggmark and Switzerland's Didier Cuche - who is donating his $10,000 start money to charity - plus Americans Bode Miller and Ted Ligety.

Keywords · Vladimir Putin · FIS · Bode Miller · Ted Ligety · Didier Cuche

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.