Alexandr Zhukov : We all feel the approach of the grand sporting event

Within a few hours, our country will mark 100 days before the start of the XXII Olympic Winter Games. On February 7, next year exactly at 8:14 pm Moscow time  the Sochi Olympic Games opening ceremony will begin. Exactly at this time today the countdown to this joyous and exciting event will start.

We all feel the approach of the grand sporting event, that will take place in our country, February,  7-23. In just a few months we will host the Winter Games for the first time.

Once we have started talking about the Olympic atmosphere, we should mention the Olympic Torch Relay. The Fire is an eternal attribute of the Olympic Games and the Relay is designed to announce their soon approach.

As a participant of the Relay I can honestly say that for me the Games started at the moment when the Olympic torch was in my hands. These are incredible emotions, great responsibility and pride. It’s pleasant to realize that you have become a part of the great story.

Our Relay will break many records. Indeed, the Fire has already visited the North Pole, it will be taken to  Mount Elbrus, to the bottom of Lake Baikal and even into space.

The relay started on October 7, 2013 in Moscow and it will conclude on  February 7, 2014 at the official opening ceremony of the Winter Games. It will be the longest  and the largest relay. By far the majority of  Russian population will have a chance to participate in the event or to see the Olympic flame, because the relay will pass through the capital cities of all 83 regions of the Russian Federation.

As is known, the Olympic Flame visits Russia for the second time. On June 19, 1980 in Greece started the XXII Olympic Games Torch relay. The XXII Olympic Games were held in Moscow. Then, 23 years ago, the length of the relay was about 5,000 km. Since then this value has increased more than 10 times.

Since the time of that relay, much has changed: opportunities have become wider and sports events have become bigger and brighter, but the traditions do not change, and all of us once again witness the unique event that embodies the philosophy of Olympism.

As well as many centuries ago in ancient Greece, the Holy Fire celebrates the values ​​of unity, striving for unconquered heights of continuous improvement. The relay is needed to draw attention to the upcoming Games and to concentrate on the grand contest approach.

It’s quite a difficult time for the athletes. It requires firmness and mental endurance. In order to support our team, the Olympic team House escorts the Relay. It is a unique mobile Pavilion. Its exposition talks about the winter sports, which are included in the XXII winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, as well as about athels and coaches that will represent our country at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.

The Olympic team House is a project of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). When  creating it, first of all we wanted to give the fans the opportunity to get acquainted with the sports legends.

In each city, the great athletes who live there become the masters of the House. Therefore, the guests do not only enjoy the exciting program prepared by the organizers (the House offers its visitors quizzes, competitions and even 3D attraction, which gives the opportunity, for example, to go down the luge and bobsleigh track), but also have a chance to communicate face-to-face with their favorite heroes or get their autographs.

When creating this project, we thought about the people who will represent our country at the Olympic Games. After all, the Olympic team House is the way to show the athletes our support and attention.

With just a few days left before the Games, the fans’ support becomes even more important for athletes. I wish the sports fans to be faithful to their idols, and I wish the competitors to be persistent and self-assured. Be aware that the whole country supports you!

Together we will win!

Alexandr Zhukov,
the President of the Russian Olympic Committee.