IOC President confident ahead of Sochi

Russian President Vladmiri Putin and new IOC President Thomas Bach meet ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Last Modified: 28 Oct 2013 16:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The head of Russia Vladimir Putin (L) and the head of the IOC Thomas Bach (R) meet in Sochi [Reuters]

IOC President Thomas Bach met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday and voiced confidence that Russia will deliver successful Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Making his first trip to Sochi since being elected head of the IOC last month, Bach told Putin he was deeply impressed with the amount of work Russia has done to prepare for the February 7-23 games.

Bach said he expects the games will be held on a 'magnificent level.'

We will do our best so that all athletes, fans and guests feel themselves comfortable in Sochi regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation

Vladimir Putin, Russian President

The two men opened a new railway station in Sochi that will serve as an important transport hub during the Olympics, linking the Black Sea coastal zone with the Krasnaya Polyana mountain venues.

Russia is spending more than $50 billion on the Olympics, Putin's pet project.

Putin said the Olympic construction is largely complete, with only some details remaining to be finalised.

Preparations for the Olympics have been overshadowed by international criticism of a recently enacted Russian law banning 'gay propaganda' among minors, which many worry may apply to gay athletes and visitors to the games.

Putin pledged there will be no discrimination.

"We will do our best so that all athletes, fans and guests feel themselves comfortable in Sochi regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation," he said at a meeting with the heads of the winter sports federations.

The IOC has said it received assurances from the Russian government that it will respect the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination of any kind at the games. Gay rights groups have accused the IOC of not doing enough to pressure Russia on the issue.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.

No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.