Sochi 21 October 2005:  Russia’s bid to host the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi was boosted today with the appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov as Chairman of the Bid Committee.  The appointment underlines the full support by Russia’s leadership to secure the 2014 Winter Games at Russia’s leading vacation destination.  Sochi provides a unique choice to host the Winter Games because the alpine sports centre, Krasnaya Polyana, is only one hour from sun-drenched beaches.

Alexander Zhukov said:  “The names of Sochi and the Krasnaya Polyana mountain region may not yet be well known around the world – but we are determined to put them on the Olympic map.  The Russian Government is 100 per cent behind the bid, confident that our unique plan will make the 2014 Winter Games memorable and enjoyable for everyone who loves participating in or watching sport.

We are offering something that the Olympic Movement has never seen before – a combination of Mediterranean and alpine climates for a Winter Games.  Selecting Sochi will ensure a Winter Games for All Seasons.”

He continued, “In addition, hosting the 2014 Winter Games will provide a powerful boost to the economy of Sochi and the Krasnodar region. It will contribute to the development of the area, creating new investment and jobs. The Games will have an impact on hotels, sports facilities, roads and transportation.” Alexander Zhukov will host a press conference on 25 October to give further details of the bid.

Bid Committee member Vyacheslav Fetisov, Chairman of the Russian Committee for Physical Culture and Sport and Olympic Champion said:  “Like Russia itself, my passion for winter sports is second to none and the appointment of Alexander Zhukov as our Chairman illustrates our country’s commitment to this bid.  Hosting the Winter Games in Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana would create a world-class winter sports training and competition legacy for Russian and international athletes.”

Leonid Tyagachev, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, remarked:  “This will be the third time that Sochi bids for the Olympic Winter and Paralympic Winter Games – and this time, with our Deputy Prime Minster as Bid Chairman and a unique plan, we have high hopes.  Russia is one of the Olympic Movement’s greatest winter sports powers yet has never had the opportunity to welcome a Winter Games. We have won more than 550 individual medals over the course of 12 Winter Games and are renowned for our sporting excellence and the quality of our athletes.”

“Sochi 2014 is proud to have the full support of the Russian Government and Deputy Prime Minister Zhukov as Chairman of the bid. We are determined to work very hard over the next few years in order to secure the Olympic Games for Sochi and the whole of Russia,” commented Dmitri Svatkovsky, Executive Director of the Sochi 2014 Bid Committee.