IOC head pleased with work on 2014 Games
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said Tuesday he is pleased with Russia's preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Almost all of the venues and infrastructure are being built from scratch, and some observers have questioned whether Russia can complete the huge and complex task adequately. "We are extremely pleased with the pace and quality or organization and very, very glad about the progress," Rogge said in Moscow after the signing of an extension of a sponsorship contract between the IOC and the Visa credit card company. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Russia's point-man for the games, echoed the assessment. "We have no basis for cynicism, no fears that something won't be built on time," he said. Rogge also said he has received assurances from President Dmitry Medvedev that environmentalists' concerns about the Sochi Games would be taken seriously. The snow sports venues will be near a national park and a nature preserve. "The government knows very well that we insist on protection of the environment," Rogge said.