IOC president: experience of 2014 Sochi Olympics crucial to Olympic movement

February 8, 2015 10:06 am 

GENEVA, Feb. 7 — The experience of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is important for the Olympic movement, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, told TASS in an exclusive interview.

"Every edition of the Games is useful and helpful to the Olympic Movement. You learn from everything that goes right, and you learn where improvements can be made. This is the case for every edition of the Games since 1896," he said.

The Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 are, like the Olympic Games London 2012, an example of what can be achieved by a government that wants to completely transform part or all of city or region, he believes.

"It was only made possible by the fact that the organizers had a clear vision in mind with what they wanted to accomplish. They had an ambitious plan to transform Sochi into a year-round sport and leisure destination and they accomplished it. This winter, for example, all the hotels in the mountain cluster were full from the beginning of November 2014 until 10 January 2015, according to the Mayor of Sochi. They even had to place restrictions on ski passes on certain days to avoid overcrowding."

As he touched upon the program for promoting the Olympic movement Agenda-2020, Bach urged all likely hosts of future Olympics "to be creative with their Olympic projects and develop them in keeping with their own local needs and aspirations."

"Sochi did just that and delivered Games that were uniquely Russian and perfectly organized," Bach said. "Just as envisioned, the area is now host to sports enthusiasts, businessmen and holidaymakers year-round. The facilities and infrastructure will remain of benefit to the people of Sochi decades into the future." (PNA/TASS)



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