Saturday, May 16, 2009

IOC Confident Sochi Success

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, led by its Chairman, the Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy, has brought to a close two days of meetings (13-14 May 2009) with the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee in the Russian host city. Joined for part of the trip by the Presidents and Secretaries General of the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations, the Commission was pleased to see that sport and the athletes were playing a central role in all areas of the project’s development and planning.
Jean-Claude Killy said,"We must not underestimate the size and complexity of what our Russian friends will achieve here. When we look at the work that is being done in areas such as transportation, infrastructure development and technological upgrades for the whole region, it is absolutely immense. As Deputy Prime Minister for the Olympic Games and Regional Development Dmitry Kozak has pointed out, this project has the full support of the Russian Government because it is part of a much wider regeneration of the region, in addition to being a great way for the Government to invest in this time of economic downturn. The Games are a catalyst for this development but it also increases the organisational challenge, which is why we have a highly competent Deputy Prime Minister in the person of Aleksandr Zhukov, as Chairman of the Sochi 2014 Supervisory Council, looking after the organisation of the Games".
He concluded, "A lot of advances have been made since our last visit and we have also taken some important steps forward during our meetings this week, but as I have said in the past, time is not a luxury that we have to play with on this project. The Sochi team must therefore ensure that it makes its decisions in a timely manner, so as to maintain its ambitious schedule. However, with the high calibre of the people in front of us and the impressive detail of the reports over the past two days, I am confident that Sochi 2014, ably led by its President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko, will deliver".
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of Sochi 2014, said: "It has been a privilege to welcome so many world-leading experts in winter sports as part of the IOC Coordination Commission - their advice has been incredibly valuable and I will personally ensure that it is incorporated into Sochi 2014's already well advanced plans. Sochi 2014 has recently made substantial progress. We have submitted the Games Foundation Plan to the IOC and are moving from the strategic planning phase to the operational planning phase. Sochi 2014 is fully on schedule".
Another key area for the IOC in Sochi’s preparations is the environment, and the IOC was pleased to hear the announcement from Deputy Prime Minister Kozak that they will be implementing new green construction guidelines on the Olympic project, which is a major step in the right direction. The evolution in understanding in this field has advanced greatly within the project, and this is also due to Sochi 2014’s close collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and various environmental NGOs.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected last July 4th Sochi as the host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 during its 119th Session in Guatemala City. The Russian resort triumphed over competing bids from Pyongchang in South Korea and Salzburg in Austria.