Putin begins countdown to Sochi Olympics

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited everyone who loves sports and fair uncompromising struggle to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"We are now a year away from the 12th Winter Olympics, from the moment when the Russian city of Sochi for some time becomes a center of the world's sports and the best athletes of the planet gather here in the spectacular and uncompromising competition of force, mastery, and will to win," Putin said at the ceremony Year to the Olympics.

Russia's application book was presented in February 2007 and the promised given in it are being fulfilled, Putin said. "Work is being done in Sochi and in its suburbs, which has no analogues in Russia's contemporary history or in the history of the Olympic movement," the president said.

Putin thanked representatives of the International Olympic Committee and partners from Vancouver and London for helping Russia prepare for the Olympics.

"We are hoping that you will share our upcoming sports event and we sincerely invite to Russia all of you who genuinely love sports and fair uncompromising struggle," the president said.

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