Deputy prime minister calls Sochi Olympics Russia's biggest investment project
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has described preparations for the XXII Winter Olympic Games and the event itself as the largest investment project for the country.
"Since the victory in Guatemala of the Russian Federation's bid to host the XXII Olympic Games in Sochi, many people have asked one and the same questions: whether Russia will be able to fulfill all of the assumed obligations in time [for the games]. Our country has implemented its most large-scale investment project within a record short period of time and has honored all of the commitments set in our country's Olympic bid," Kozak said at a press conference in Sochi, where the XXII Winter Olympic Games are due to open officially on February 7.
Russia has managed to build the most advanced Olympic city for 200,000 people, he said.
"We have been able to complete the modernization of the city of Sochi thanks to the XXII Olympic Games. Over all these years, we have been promoting professional sports, have been promoting a volunteer movement and have been implementing projects to create a "barrier-free" environment for people with disabilities," the Russian official said.
Up to three billion people around the globe will be able to watch the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony live, he said.
"Russia had long waited for the return of the Olympic Games to its soil. We deserved the right to host this sports festival," he said.
Apart from the Olympic sites, seven times as many infrastructural facilities were built in Sochi, he said.
"We built these facilities as part of preparations for the Olympic Games literally in an open field, in the cramped conditions of the city and the complex conditions of the mountain cluster. The implementation of this large-scale project is a huge victory for our country," Kozak said.