Alexander Zhukov : The absence of some politicians won’t affect the quality of the OG

On Tuesday, December 24, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee and the IOC member Alexander Zhukov met with the chief editors of Russian media at RIA Novosti. Its central themes were the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi and  the prospects of the Russian national team at these OG.

“The Russian team doesn’t have any medal plan. The task is simple – to win. We have a common training program, and the federations report about their expectations, but there is no plan, – said Alexander Zhukov. Answering the questios about the prospects of the Russian teams in different sports, he said that “women’s curling team has an excellent chance — it has just won at the Universiade in Trentino”.

“The ski team is well prepared. The girls have a good chance in Snowboarding. In figure skating the  leaders are  Tatyana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov and Evgeniy Plushenko, if he will be in good shape. But let’s wait for his performance at the championship of Russia”, – said the President of the ROC.

Alexander Zhukov also touched upon a question of the Ice hockey team which performed badly at the home Euro Tour stage in Sochi last week – it finished third. The head of the ROC considers that it’s premature to draw conclusions about the prospects of the Russian ice hockey team at the Olympics based on the results of the Channel One Cup, as the team will change when the players from the National Hockey League will arrive.

“I do not like the way we played. I looked at this team and did not realize which of them will go to Sochi. We discussed this issue with the Head of the Russian Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretyak. It’s strange to draw conclusions about the prospects in Sochi – another team will be playing there and the results will largely depend on the shape of the leaders – Evgeniy Malkin , Alexander Ovechkin , Pavel Datsyuk” , – said Alexander Zhukov.

The ROC President spoke about some politicians’ refusal to attend the Games in Sochi. Olympic Games are primarily an athletic competition, and the absence of  the U.S. President Barack Obama or any other foreign politician can not affect their quality, said Alexander Zhukov.

“The point is the competition itself, not  the opening ceremony attended by 20 or 30 heads of the countries, – he said. – Obama can not come? Well, he has never been to any of the Olympics during his presidency. The quality of the competition will not be affected in any way. Regarding the boycott I have not heard a single declaration. Nobody is seriously discussing this point neither in the International Olympic Committee, nor at the governmental level “.