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  • Update - Putin Confirms Sochi Leadership Team for Rogge


    Jacques Rogge and Dmitry Chernyshenko meet on the tarmac in Sochi.  
    (ATR) Dmitry Chernyshenko pledges to stage "the best-ever Winter Games" in Sochi after being officially named as head of the new organizing committee for the 2014 Olympics.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the former Sochi 2014 bid chief as the new executive director of SOCOG in his meeting with IOC president Jacques Rogge in the Olympic city today.

    "This is a great honor and responsibility," Chernyshenko tells Around the Rings.

    "We will build unique infrastructure for the best-ever Winter Games, leaving a great legacy for Russia and winter sport globally," he said.

    "We'll meet the critical demands of the IOC and international sports federations. Everything will be built on time."

    Chernyshenko said the immediate challenge was to develop the structure of the organizing committee.

    He told ATR that key appointments were due shortly but declined to confirm whether senior management for the Sochi Olympics would be named in full at a Presidential Council meeting on October 2.

    Chernyshenko said other priorities were to develop the masterplan for Games construction work and work on marketing proposals ahead of the first IOC co-ordination commission visit to Sochi next February.

    During Rogge's first official visit to Sochi, Putin also confirmed the appointment of deputy prime minister Alexander Zhukov as head of SOCOG's supervisory board.

    According to media reports, Putin told Rogge that Russian authorities would do everything to justify the trust granted to Sochi as the 2014 host city.

    Putin said the interests of Sochi residents and the entire Krasnodar region would be taken into account in the construction of Olympic facilities.

    "I have ordered the federal government and the presidential administration to involve Sochi and Krasnodar authorities in the drafting of Olympic documents so that they take into account the interests of citizens who live in Sochi and the prospective Olympic zone," Putin told reporters.

    Arriving in Sochi following meetings in Moscow Wednesday, Rogge said: "I am very glad to be here for my very first time in Sochi.

    "This is, of course, the first of a very long series of visits that will culminate, I'm sure, in a fantastic Games in Sochi."

    He was accompanied
    Gilbert Felli, Dmitry Chernyshenko and Jean-Claude Killy in Sochi.  
    by Jean-Claude Killy, head of the IOC Co-ordination Commission for Sochi, and IOC executive director for the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli, on a visit to the planned sites for Olympic construction.

    Rogge also held talks today with Zhukov, Chernyshenko and other members of the Sochi team about the priorities for Olympic planning.

    "Organization of the Games is never easy . It has to be done in a very short period and what is essential is to start very quickly," Rogge told reporters.

    Zhukov was among those welcoming Rogge to Sochi, saying: "Developing close contacts with IOC is very important for starting construction of Olympic venues in Sochi."

    Putin has already appointed Semyon Vainshtock, outgoing president of the Russian company Transneft, as the head of the state corporation that will oversee the $12bn construction program for the 2014 Games.

    IOC Co-com chair Killy yesterday got his first glimpse of the huge construction challenge facing Sochi on a tour around Olympic construction sites.

    "Most things are absolutely magnificent, the location and the organization for the Games is absolutely fantastic," he said. "I know there is a lot of work to do, an awful lot of work to do."

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