Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had personally chosen the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
"I am especially pleased to see what is going on here because I chose this venue personally. I came here by UAZ [car] in 2001 or 2002, we drove around, came to the bank of that river and I said: let us start from here," Putin said in a film, "The Philosophy of Gentle Way", episodes of which were aired by the Rossiya Vesti Nedeli program on Sunday.
The president was speaking to his interviewer in Krasnaya Polyana. The whole of the film will be aired on February 7 after the official beginning of the Sochi Games.
"Everything started from the place where the Gazprom complex [in Krasnaya Polyana] is situated now," the president said.
In his opinion, the International Olympic Committee chose Sochi amongst other bidders for hosting the 2014 Winter Games because it felt Russians' support for the project.
"Alas, we do not see such support for the Olympic movement in certain countries overfed with attention. The IOC saw that the Russian population, Russian citizens, were rendering that support. And it was a very significant factor which helped us win [the bid]," Putin said.
The president said he best remembered telling IOC members about the advantages of the Russian Olympic bid.
"The answer of not one but several of my interlocutors was particularly heartwarming for me. Literally, they listened to everything [they were told] and said: "We will support contemporary Russia, we want to support it, we need this country," Putin recalled in the film.
The interviewing journalist asked Putin about his main rival and Putin answered the question on behalf of Russia as a whole. "I won't speak about me, I will speak about Russia. Russia does not have rivals. In fact, Russia has only one rival - itself, our internal problems and troubles," he said.
However, the chief of state strongly disagreed with the opinion that the Russian people were incapable of building anything in a normal way. "I think this is a lie about Russian people. Russian people have built such a state as Russia, the biggest state in the world," he said.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.