Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for developing Olympic sports that are not yet known well in Russia.
"Surely, we should also pay attention to absolutely new sports that have been added to the Olympic programs, and we should not forget that we have schools [specializing] in traditional Olympic sports. We should not overlook this but, on the contrary, should make progress, bearing in mind that competition is growing," Putin said at a Wednesday meeting with the winners and runners-up of the XXVI Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.
Putin praised the successes of Russian athletes at the Universiade, noting that the Russian team has won 50 medals there. "This is an absolute record at these competitions. More than any other team. Definitely, this is great," Putin said.
What is even more encouraging is that Russian athletes have recently started achieving great results in sports "in which we have not seen any results for a long time," Putin said. In particular, he mentioned alpine skiing, ski jumping and curling.
"I'd like to congratulate you once again and wish you all the best. They usually serve champagne at such events, but I don't know, perhaps they've brought lemonade this time. Or champagne too? Well, let it be so, okay," Putin told the athletes.
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