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IOC Head Praises Sochi 2014

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, attending meetings of the European Olympic Committees in Sochi, praised organizers Thursday for making significant progress in preparations for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games

He said, "today I saw extraordinary changes", since his last visit to Sochi 18 months ago.

Jean-Claude Killy, head of the IOC's coordination commission for Sochi, said the preparations were on schedule and the Sochi Olympics will be a "grandiose event". He added that "every minute counts and shouldn't be passed up. But I'm sure that everything will be ready in time and the Games in Sochi will be a great festival".

Dmitry Kozak, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, said construction of all facilities of Sochi's mountain cluster will be completed this year and international ski, freestyle, snowboard and biathlon test events will take place in February and March.

He said, "these national and international competitions will allow us to taste the greatness of the future grandiose event and at the same time test the personnel and main Olympic facilities.

Russia built all the stadiums and infrastructure from scratch in a seven year period costing $30 billion, in what is reportedly the most expensive Winter Games in history.

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