February 24, 2014
At the Winter Olympic Games the world saw Russia’s real face as the country showed it can be “efficient, transparent and hospitable,” believes Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.
RT: It's been 7 years in the making, more than two weeks of very intense games. And now, everything is over. How does it feel for you?
DC: The result is phenomenal. It even went beyond our [wildest] expectations. The games were just fantastic and great. And the result of the team was multiplied by impeccable operations and the smooth organizing of the event.
RT: Everyone who watched from start to finish was amazed by how everything went. For you personally, what is the biggest achievement of the 2014 Winter Games?
DC: The biggest achievement probably for us, for Russians and a nation, which organized the best games ever in the history of my country, obviously was that we obtained the confidence that Russia is capable [of delivering an] ambitious project. And the most important, beside that, is of course that we generated a historical legacy for generations to come.
RT: Ahead of the games, Russia came under a lot of criticism. How do you feel about those reports? Have they in any way overshadowed the games?
DC: You know, it's impossible to shadow the truth, and we [had] the stereotypes from the period of Cold War. Now [that has been shattered]. Everybody who came witnessed how we're efficient, how we are transparent, how we are hospitable. They really changed from criticism to covering real positive things.
RT: Looking at the infrastructure that was created in the city ahead of the games, what can you tell us about how they are going to be used in the future? What's going to happen to them?
DC: The future of my native city of Sochi is very bright. This plan for the legacy is solid, very well thought out, with money allocated to maintaining the venues. But the most important, the anchor events are in place: we're hosting the G8 in a couple of months, we're hosting the Formula-1 race in four months and more to come, the World Cup, world championships... Sochi has really turned from an ordinary Soviet-style summer resort to an all-year-round international sport and leisure destination.
RT: As we can see, the infrastructure is going to be used. And of course, the Paralympics are coming shortly. What can we expect there?
DC: We'll do our best to organize an exceptional event for the athletes in the Paralympic Games as well, as we did for the Olympic Games. Of course, the bar was raised very high, but we'll concentrate all our efforts to provide an exceptional, convenient and efficient environment for the Paralympians to perform the best.