Russia PM Says Country Preparing To Become 'Center For World Sports'
After a year of big events and big investments, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has declared that the country "will soon be a center for world sports," according to RUSSIA TODAY. Mutko "hailed" the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, world championship games in athletics and rugby, the prospect of F1 and the football World Cup. Mutko: "From 2013 to 2018, Russia will be the center of world sport. And, when the next World Cup has finished in Brazil, all eyes will be on Russia." The city of Kazan -- home of two-time Russian football champions Rubin -- "has built a new airport and road system in anticipation of next summer's World Student Games, as well as the coming World Cup matches." In the last six years, more than 1,100 sports facilities were built across Russia. Next year, the country "aims to open training centers for all 53 Olympic sports" (RT, 1/5).
GETTING READY: The VOICE OF RUSSIA reported Sochi will host 44 events in '13 ahead of the '14 Winter Games. Sochi Organizing Committee Head Dmitry Chernyshenko said that Sochi "will see 73 test events in 15 sports this year," which is more than Turin in '06 and Vancouver in '10 (VOICE OF RUSSIA, 1/5). XINHUA reported Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev "called for full implementation of sports constructions for the Sochi Games." He added that the success of the Olympics and Russia's prestige "depended on the construction of Sochi facilities," many of which "still lagged behind the schedule." Medvedev added that "much preparation work should be done ahead of the Games." Medvedev: "That is why the commissioning of sportive facilities and the infrastructure, as well as the test events is our strategic priority" (XINHUA, 1/6).