VARIOUS: Black Sea resort Sochi, boosted by personal intervention of Russian president Vladimir Putin, wins...
- Title: VARIOUS: Black Sea resort Sochi, boosted by personal intervention of Russian president Vladimir Putin, wins right to stage 2014 Winter Olympic Games
- Date: 5th July 2007
- Summary: (S1) SOCHI, RUSSIA (JULY 5, 2007) (REUTERS) OPEN AIR SHOW IN OCCASION OF OLYMPIC ANNOUNCEMENT PEOPLE IN CROWD PEOPLE WATCHING LIVE TRANSMISSION FROM GUATEMALA WITH ROGGE ON SCREEN READING WINNER, CROWD CHEERING COUPLE HUGGING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHEERING VARIOUS OF FIREWORKS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) 26-YEAR-OLD VALERI FROM KRASNODAR SAYING: "It is super! I knew that we would win. We came from far away and have waited a long time for this result. It is super and totally positive" GROUP SHOUTING 'SOCHI, SOCHI' FIREWORKS FIREWORKS, YOUNG WOMAN WATCHING
- Reuters ID: LVA7G92GMX8E5W4BU7IP1J7TIMAH
- Duration: 00:01:22
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- Topics: International Relations,Sports
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: The Black Sea resort of Sochi, boosted by the personal intervention of Russian president Vladimir Putin, won the right to stage the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on Wednesday (July 4).
Sochi gained 51 votes to upset favourites Pyeongchang of South Korea who took 47 votes in the second round of the ballot.
The third candidate, Salzburg of Austria had been eliminated in the first round.
The Russian delegation erupted in elation after IOC president Jacques Rogge opened the envelope to announce the winning bid.
Sochi had started the bid as outsiders as none of their venues have yet been built. But they made up ground with a slick campaign and Putin's support may ultimately have been the final ingredient for success.
Rogge said Putin's presence in Guatemala had been important. It was reassuring for the IOC to know they had the full support of the Russian government.
Putin has claimed Sochi's victory in the race to host the 2014 Winter Olympics as an international endorsement of Russia's economic resurgence.
Putin, ardent skier and owner of a holiday home not far from the Black Sea resort, spent two days lobbying IOC members in Guatemala before the vote.
"This is, without doubt, not just a recognition of Russia's sporting achievements but it is, beyond any doubt, a judgement on our country," he said on Thursday, moments after returning to Moscow.
"It is a recognition of our growing capability, first of all economically and socially."
Since he was first elected in 2000, Putin has overseen a strong economic recovery and helped restore Russia's weight in international affairs.
In Sochi, city officials threw a nine-hour-long lavish gala show to entertain the crowd of some 15,000 as they waited for the vote.
There were huge celebrations in the city as the announcement came at just after three o'clock in the morning local time (2300 GMT) via a live broadcast connection with Guatemala City. A grand fireworks display followed.
The Sochi bid was important for a Russia, recovering after a post-Soviet decline with strong economic development.
"It is super! I knew that we would win. We came from far and have waited long for this result. It is super and totally positive," said Valeri from the city of Krasnodar.
It will be the first time Russia has staged a Winter Olympics though Moscow was host to the Summer Games in 1980.
Russian environmentalists have greeted the win with patriotic pride but also warned that construction plans would destroy part of a protected mountain wilderness. Both WWF and Greenpeace plan to lobby for changes in Sochi's development plans.
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- Embargoed:20th July 2007 13:00