Inaugural IOC President's Dinner held ahead of Sochi 2014
CHAD WISE/ Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The inaugural International Olympic Committee President’s Dinner was held the night before the Opening Ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, held by IOC President Thomas Bach with international leaders from the world of politics, business, media, science, culture and sport in attendance.
In attendance were Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping and Greece President Karolos Papoulias, as well as the presidents of the countries of Armenia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Tajikistan.
Other heads of state and prime ministers also filled the Dinner.
“The purpose of this dinner is to show that the IOC is reaching out to society at large and is looking forward to an open dialogue with the worlds of politics, business, the media, science and culture,” Bach said. “We want to share with you the Olympic spirit and the Olympic values.
“We have gathered here tonight just as the athletes are doing at this very moment in the Olympic Village next door. Even though they are competitors, they are sharing a meal and enjoying being together in the Olympic community. So let us share this Olympic spirit here tonight.”
Athletes at the President’s Dinner included gymnast Laris Latynina, winner of 14 individual Olympic medals, and Olympic ice hockey player Vladislav Tretiak.
Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, was also in attendance.
Vitaly Smirnov presented the Master of Ceremony duties
“As the longest-serving member of the IOC, I am delighted that I still have the opportunity to witness ‘firsts’ at the Olympic Games,” he said. “As well as this being the first ever Olympic Winter Games in Russia, this is the first ever IOC President’s Dinner, and it is a very welcome new initiative.”
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