Putin ready to spend 12 billion dollars on sports, not war

President Putin joined the advertising campaign for the hosting city of Winter Olympics 2014. A delegation of the International Olympic Committee is currently visiting the city of Sochi located on the Black Sea coast of Russia. The city is one of the candidates to host the winter games in 2014. The president visited the ski resort called Krasnaya Polyana (Red Meadow) located on the outskirts of the city before meeting the delegates.

Click here to see photos of Vladimir Putin skiing in Sochi

In the mountains Putin communicated with children from the local sports school, exercised his skiing skills and had a glass of hot red wine in a company with the president of the Olympic Committee of Russia, Leonid Tyagachev.

“We will develop this ski resort in the mountains no matter if Sochi hosts the Winter Games or not,” Putin told reporters during his stay at Krasnaya Polyana. “We need this resort because our citizens do not have a wide choice of holiday destinations. Sochi is a unique variant, a unique place, which combines the warm sea and snowy mountains,” Putin said.

Of course Putin and the Olympic Committee of Russia would like to hold Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi. If the city loses the race, all plans to develop the above-mentioned resort may not be realized, as it previously happened on many occasions in Russia before.

Members of the IOC’s Evaluation Commission are currently working with documents during the second day of their visit to Sochi. The city has no Olympic objects at present. The delegates did not even attend the figure skating show: they left the hotel only to have a meeting with Putin.

The Olympic Charter does not allow the head of state to conduct official meetings with members of the Olympic committees. Both the meeting and the presentation of Sochi’s bid were held in an informal atmosphere. However, the president delivered his message to the delegates and said that the Winter Games of 2014 should be held in Sochi because “we are better” as he said. The head of the Evaluation Commission, Tiharu Igaya (Japan), said that Sochi’s bid was “very serious.”

Putin’s speech for the commission was short but very emotional. “We are ready to spend over 12 billion dollars. Think about it. This money will not be spent on cannons and shells. It will be used to bring people from all over the globe together for the Olympic Games in Sochi,” the president said.

The hosting city for Winter Olympics 2014 will be announced on July 4 2007 at a session of the International Olympic Committee. Russian officials believe that the world’s most northern subtropics will win the hearts of both athletes and guests. There is only a 40-minute journey between the warm sea and the snowy mountains.

Russia’s bid has two biggest drawbacks. There are no Olympic objects in Sochi. The commission may take a risk at this point. Putin assured the foreign delegates, though, that the city would not have any technical or organizational problems in the field if it wins the race.

Another serious problem is connected with ecology. Almost all Olympic objects will have to be built on the territory of the city’s national park. “We need to find a balance between sports opportunities and the protection of environment,” Putin said.

Vremya Novostei

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov