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Sochi Games ready with records in history book

English.news.cn   2014-02-03 21:42:46

SOCHI, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Sochi Winter Olympic Games is ready to open with record number of parcitipation as well as media coverage, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said here on Monday.

Bach inspected the Olympic facilities in the past three days and his observation convinced him that the Games is ready to go.

"After a visit to the Olympic Village and some venues and after many conversations with athletes, coaches and officials I can tell you the Olympic stage is ready for the best winter athletes in the world," Bach told reporters at a pre-Games press conference.

"We see this in the sports facilities - all state-of-the-art - which have been tested and where necessary improved. We can see this in the Olympic Villages, which are all of a very high quality and in excellent condition for the athletes," said the German.

Bach was especially pleased with the organizers' idea of a "compact" Games as venues are located close to each other and to where the athletes stay.

"The concept is for a great proximity for the athletes to their venues, so about 80% of athletes can literally walk from their bed to their competition venue. It is something I have never seen before at any Winter Games and I think the athletes will love it," he said.

Journalists work in the coastal cluster will also like the compactness when they could walk less than one kilometer from the main press center to the Alder Arena for speed skating and take 20 minutes or so to reach the ice hockey venue Shayba Arena, the farthest of all, 1.6km away.

As Bach is presiding the first Olympics as the IOC head, he would like the Games not only feature excellent facilities but also enjoy more attention.

"We have a record number of National Olympic Committees participating - 87. We have record numbers for TV coverage with the Games being broadcast to more than 200 countries. We also have a record in the total hours of coverage broadcast, which is about 75,000 hours," he said.

Sochi Games opens on Friday.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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