As you may already know, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held in Russia. (If you need more info, go back to October and look for Angela’s blog). Sochi, the city hosting the event, is just off the Black Sea by the Caucasus Mountains.
The Soviet Union hosted the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980, but this will be the first time the Winter Games will be held in Russia. In a speech made by Vladimir Putin at the 119th International Olympic Committee Session, he made many promises regarding how security, the press, the athletes, and other details will be handled. Amongst other things he said 70% of the athletes will be within five minutes walking distance of the arenas, everything will be enjoyable and memorable, and the greatest promise of all: no traffic jams. Of course, this all comes with a hefty price of $12 billion dollars (so far), but that doesn’t seem to bother people much. Putin also said he has planned many special privileges for the athletes and the guests who come to Russia...we just don't know what they all are yet...
Sochi Olympic Emblem:
So, here is the video of Putin giving his speech. It should be noted that this is in English, and apparently this is the first time he has spoken English publicly. Now, I read that he speaks German like a native because apparently while he was growing up the Putin family spoke German at home. But really, just listen to the way he speaks. He has a very strange accent. It’s not what you’d expect to hear from a Russian speaking English. It’s nothing like Sergei and Ivan =( . Rather, it’s more like 3 accents mashed into one or something. Anyway, it’s a little over six minutes long and at the very end, Putin decides to spice it up saying a few words in French: “The Olympic dream of millions of Russians awaits your decision with high hopes.”
(Oh, and my brother wanted me to mention that the piece playing during Putin's entrance is Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto. He says if you want to hear a really good version listen to Van Cliburn who won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958, which was judged by Svaitoslav Richter and Emil Gilels; two legendary Russian pianists amongst other famous Russian musicians)