Olympic Notes: Up To 70 Heads Of State Expected To Attend Sochi Opening Ceremony
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that "up to 70 heads of state from around the world are expected to attend" the Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. The figure "is a sharp increase from 12 at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago," said Mutko, who also acknowledged that the leaders of several leading nations "had decided to stay away." He said, "Yes, maybe some people aren't coming, but every head of state has their own plans, their own views. But anyway, the Olympics are about the athletes -- they should be the ones we focus on" (R-SPORT, 2/5). ... Fifty-three percent of Russians think their country did "the right thing" by bidding to hold the Sochi Olympics, according to a new poll released Wednesday. Twenty-six percent of respondents in the poll by the independent Levada Center said that Russia "should not have bid to host the Winter Games," and 21% were undecided (RIA NOVOSTI, 2/5). ... A Chinese sports official said that athletes will enjoy their lives in the "comfortable" athletes' village of Sochi Winter Olympic Games that "offers convenience in every aspect." Chinese Deputy Chef de Mission Xiao Tian said that "he already felt at home." He said, "The food in the dining hall is fantastic. They have a section of Asian food, with good flavor" (XINHUA, 2/5).