IOC President Bach visits Sochi and praises preparation for the winter Olympics
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi “excellent, unique and a perfect stage for the athletes to perform at their best.”
Bach is in the Black Sea city for a four-day visit and attended the unveiling of the Sochi 2014 Games-time uniforms. He also toured venues of the coastal and mountain clusters and took meetings with Sochi 2014 organisers and government officials like Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
“The progress the organisers have made since winning the right to host the Games seven years ago is tremendous, but more importantly, they have delivered on their commitment to place the athletes at the heart of these Games,” Bach said. “I can confidently say that all the athletes will be warmly welcomed and they will be suitably impressed with the Athletes’ Villages and competition venues. We can expect to see some terrific performances in February as a result.”
Putin and Bach opened the Adler railway terminal Monday. The terminal will link the two clusters during the Games. Putin also spoke to Bach regarding the stance towards the LGBT community during the Games.
“All visitors travelling to Sochi for the Games regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation will be welcomed here equally – this has been made very clear by the Russian authorities,” Bach said. “The Games themselves are open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media, and, of course, athletes. This is a principal pillar of the Olympic Movement that will be upheld in Sochi.”
Sochi will leave a legacy for Russia including improved infrastructure, new sports facilities, an increase in volunteerism, and the Russian International Olympic University.
“There will be many lasting legacies from Sochi 2014, including the RIOU, which is committed to producing graduates of the highest caliber to work in the world of sport,” Bach said. “The Olympic Movement as a whole will benefit from the establishment of the university, as, of course, will Russian sport.”
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games are less than 100 days away.
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