• Home
  • News
  • IOC chief hails 'great' Sochi Games

IOC chief hails 'great' Sochi Games

24 February 2014

SOCHI: International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has hailed the Sochi Games as "great", saying the response from the athletes was overwhelmingly positive.

He praised President Vladimir Putin for playing an "important role" in the Games and said the Russian strongman never committed any act that was not in line with the Olympic Charter during the Games.

"We are close to the end of a great Olympic Winter Games. The response we get from all the different participants is overwhelmingly positive," Bach added at a news conference ahead of the closing ceremony later on Sunday.

"There was not a single complaint from any of the athletes," added Bach who spent several nights in the Olympic Villages.

"These were excellent Games that may lead to the reversal of some criticism" of the Russian organisers that preceded the Olympics, he added.

There had been huge alarm ahead of the Games not just about the ability of Russia to build the facilities on time but also its rights record and in particular the now notorious anti-gay law.

He said athletes were particularly impressed by the proximity of their accommodation to their venues, meaning they could hop from breakfast tables to training in a couple of minutes.

Bach hailed the transformation of Sochi, recalling its "terrible" state when he was chairman of the evaluation commission for Sochi in 1994 for its second unsuccessful bid to host the Games.

"I came here and I said 'impossible'," recalled Bach.

"We saw an old Stalin-style sanatorium city where we were looking at the roof and wondering if you might get hit by something falling down."

"It was terrible. Seeing 20 years after this transformation is really amazing."

He said the priority for Sochi was securing the legacy after the Russian organisers made clear their ambition for the Games to transform the whole southern Russia region.

Related News

Pyeongchang 2018 Australian Team formal uniforms unveiled

Pyeongchang 2018 Australian Team formal uniforms unveiled

20 October 2017

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Total Image Group (TIG) today unveiled the official formal uniforms to be worn by the Australian Olympic Team at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.

Olympic quotas & World Champions

Olympic quotas & World Champions

3 October 2017

Australia dominated on the global stage over the October long weekend with World Championship victories, international golds and two qualifications for the Winter Olympic Games.

Lassila movie inspired Sally Pearson

Lassila movie inspired Sally Pearson

15 August 2017

Sally Pearson has paid tribute to champion Australian aerials skier Lydia Lassila for inadvertently providing her with the motivation to coach herself - a decision which led to another major hurdles title in London on the weekend

Related Games

Sochi 2014

Sochi 2014