Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Zhukov, Minister of Economic Development, Herman Gref, Alexander Tkachev, Governor of Krasnodar Region and Sochi 2014 CEO, Dmitry Chernyshenko outlined the Bid’s reaction to the IOC Evaluation Commission report on Sochi 2014 at a press conference in Paris.
Mr. Zhukov thanked the IOC Evaluation Commission on behalf of the Russian people before going on to say:
"We are pleased that the members of the Evaluation Commission have praised our visionary and innovative Games plan that will create one of the most compact Winter Games in Olympic history. Sochi’s brand new venues and facilities will lead to an incredible winter sport legacy that will benefit the region, Russia and the whole Olympic Movement".
"As Deputy Prime Minister, I am pleased to see that the Commission also noted the total commitment and passion of President Putin and all his Government for this Bid. The report praised the fact that Sochi 2014 is a national priority and the Government has established a Federal Target Programme to guarantee the delivery all the venues and infrastructure necessary to host the 2014 Games."
The Federal Target Programme aims to turn the region into a year round, world class resort. It will allow the creation of the first ever centre for winter sport in Russia.
In closing, Mr Zhukov noted:
"We are also pleased that the IOCs independent research found that Sochi 2014 is supported by 80% of all Russians. This means 115 million people back the Sochi 2014 Bid."
Minister Gref stressed that Sochi was already addressing the challenge to deliver such a pioneering plan within seven years. He stated that extraordinary progress has already been made on major venues and Games infrastructure projects since the IOC Evaluation visit in February.
"The construction works are progressing at full speed. New roads and tunnels and a new international terminal at the airport have already been completed ahead of schedule. "The active construction phase has started at the sports venues in the mountains, on telecommunications and accommodation infrastructure projects. In general, work is well ahead of schedule allowing us to confidently plan the completion of all necessary infrastructure at least one year before the Games in Sochi."
Speaking in detail about tourism growth in Sochi and the Krasnodar Region, Governor Alexander Tkachev took the opportunity today to remind the audience that Sochi welcomed more than 4 million visitors in the past year and as a result of the new terminal at Sochi International Airport, now has the capacity to welcome 3,800 passengers daily.
"Today, we are opening our city to the world," he said. "The residents of Sochi will do everything in their power to ensure that the 2014 Winter Games are a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the athletes, the Olympic Family and the people from all around the world who share a passion for sport".
After reading the report, Mr Tkachev noted, "I am delighted to say that in addition to the very strong national support, the IOC’s independent research shows that 79% of residents in Sochi support the Bid".
Commenting on the report, Mr. Chernyshenko said:
"This report is proof of what the people of Russia believe. It outlines that we have a high quality Bid and a very good Games plan. We are pleased that it also confirms that we will have one of the most compact Winter Games in history. In fact the IOC Evaluation Commission report states that "the respected international federations would be well served" [by Sochi 2014 Games Plan].
"In particular we note that this Evaluation Commission report has acknowledged that the Sochi 2014 Olympic Park will be dynamic, safe and amongst the most compact ever".
Mr. Chernyshenko underscored that the great sport legacy has been the main focus of Sochi 2014, with the views of the IOC, Olympic athletes, International Federations and NOC’s shaping the Bid.
"We have demonstrated that the blueprint for our Bid has come from the Olympic Family. The Evaluation Commission’s excellent report reflects this work."
The decision for the host city of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will take place in Guatemala on July 4 during the 119th IOC Session.