Sochi 2014 a “Games for the athletes”, says IOC President
While touring the Main Press Centre today, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as they approached their midway point and said the success of the 12 new events added to the Olympic programme bodes well for continued evolution of the Olympic Games.
“It’s a great Games for the athletes,” President Bach said of Sochi 2014 on Day 6 of the competition while visiting the offices of media outlets. “I’ve been speaking to many, many athletes and haven’t heard a single complaint. They are all happy with the facilities, they are happy with the Athletes’ Village, they are extremely happy with the proximity of the Village to the venues. They know that the best stage has been prepared for the best athletes in the world, so I’m really happy.”
The Olympic Village on the Black Sea coast is one of three Athletes’ Villages at the Sochi Games and features 47 buildings on 72 hectares of land. It is within walking distance to all the state-of-the-art coastal cluster venues, including those for ice hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating and short track. Residents at the Olympic Village also have access to a multi-religious centre, library, bank, recreation centre, cafes, and shops.
President Bach also told reporters the IOC is on the right track when it comes to new events added to the Olympic Winter Games in recent years – including 12 new events for Sochi 2014.
“We have to adapt to modern times. We did so in the Winter Games already in the past with snowboard, moguls and other events, and we have to keep going in this direction. I hope that also in the Summer Games we can make progress and have a new sport or two in. Some of the contenders have already been added to the programme of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in August.”
The dozen new events in Sochi have received glowing report cards from athletes, spectators and organisers alike. The new events are ski slopestyle, snowboard slopestyle, snowboard parallel special slalom, ski halfpipe, women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay. Three are mixed events, five are women’s events, and all are exciting, entertaining competitions that complement the existing events on the sports programme. It is a positive development that may be hard to top when considering changes to the programme for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
“We have 12 new disciplines here in Sochi, and to find even more spectacular events for 2022 may be difficult although it is a great idea and is welcome. I think the 2022 Olympic Winter Games may be a little bit more about consolidation in one way or the other from my point of view, and it may also be that we try – and this I would appreciate very much because this I advocate it very much – to add one or the more mixed events, for instance the Nordic combined for women. We have now women’s ski jumping and women’s cross country skiing, so why not Nordic combined for women? Or in other sports to have more mixed relays because we see they are a great success. I think that this is a very good way to promote women’s sport.”