For me, the Paralympic Games in Sochi are highly significant, and I am preparing for this very seriously. I am certain that the lessons with participation of Sochi 2014 "Our Champions" will help pupils and their relatives find out more about the Games, and support for our team on the Sochi stands will be really impressive.
I am really happy to be taking part in such a big artistic project as the "Bench of Peace". What is great is that regardless of the variety of themes and paintings on the benches, there will be a harmonized look to it all. That is probably one of the main ideas of the project - to highlight what brings us all together, despite our physical, emotional and ideological differences. My drawing will no doubt be of a Paralympic sport, seeing that in less than a year one of the most important sporting events will begin - the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi!
I think it is a good tournament organization wise. I think they’ve done a good job. It’s unbelievable set-up, especially playing Russia in Russia; it seemed like all 14 thousand people were really loud. The dressing room is awesome, it’s a lot of room, we have all things that we need. We went to the Black Sea quite a bit, we went downtown a little bit, it’s been a great experience!
On behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation I would like to thank all those who put their skills, energy and strength into these events, which in fact are a lot like real Olympics. It was a great success. We had 44 events, 20 international and 24 Russian. 101 set of medals have been played, which is more than during the Olympic Games. The IOC, the athletes – everybody agrees that the events were successful. Both the system of governance and infrastructure have stood the test. At the same time, we still have work to do: the Olympics will be much more difficult.
The third season of the pre-Olympic test events program, the biggest in the history of the Winter Games, is coming to a close. It comprised over 70 international and national competitions in all of the Olympic and Paralympic sports. We are very pleased with results. The test competitions have passed successfully, which was proved by positive feedback from many athletes, coaches, international federations’ representatives, IOC, IPC and spectators. We have efficiently overcome all the trials and can now say with confidence that we are ready to host the Games even in the most challenging conditions. The test events were organized by a large team, and I would like to thank everyone who took part in hosting them: Organizing Committee, Olympstroy, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, administrations of the Krasnodar region and the city of Sochi, contractors and of course our numerous volunteers who have become an integral part of our united team.
We have two very good arenas. I like especially the small one, it is a really typical hockey arena with seven thousand seats, it's deeper. For sure, the big arena, the "Bolshoy", is a typical multi-purpose arena, it’s very nice, very convenient, big, with a lot of space, very good dressing rooms.
The World Championship, the main event of the season for Russian junior ice hockey team, is held this year in Sochi, which is preparing to hold the Olympic Winter Games in 2014. It's no exaggeration to say that a tournament of such a high level is a big feast for all the fans of this sport. I am sure that such events are going to be a great promotion for development of junior and youth hockey in our country.
I have been to several World Championships and I can assure you that the conditions here, for guys of this age, are absolutely remarkable. The restaurant is open literally round-the-clock, the catering is wonderful, and as for the open buffet – what more can I say. Everyone's happy with the service, including the foreign teams – you can see that by how often they like to come in and eat here. The conditions in the hotel are fantastic – there's a great sports and fitness gym, an outstanding pool, and in general the hotel's grounds are really well-kept.
Some of the guys had never seen so many spectators as today before, so a few of them were nervous before the game, while others encouraged them so they could begin calmly. Of course, the spectators helped us achieve victory, and my thanks to them for that. May they come and support us in future!
I didn’t think it’s gonna be that crazy. People here seem excited, it’s pretty cool to play here before the Olympics.