Updated Feb 6, 2013 - 7:01 am
IOC's Rogge defends high costs for Sochi Olympics
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - With the Winter Olympics a year away, IOC President Jacques Rogge praised Sochi organizers on Wednesday and defended the $51 billion price tag.
Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press in the Black Sea resort, Rogge said he was impressed by the preparations for Russia's first Winter Olympics.
"The site is very compact, it's high quality and is situated in beautiful surroundings," Rogge said.
Rogge is touring the Olympic venues ahead of the one-year countdown, which will be marked with a dazzling ice show on Thursday. Most of the venues have already been completed, while thousands of workers are still finishing up some Olympic facilities.
Russian authorities last week announced the latest costs related to the games, saying total spending would come to about $51 billion, which would make Sochi the most expensive Olympics in history.
Rogge said a great deal of the money is going to infrastructure projects, including new roads and railways, which will serve the development of the entire region for decades to come.
"You have to put it into proportion," Rogge said. "The organization of the games is not going to cost a lot of money. But the government ... wished to develop the whole area. You cannot just take the cost of the train and the tunnels and the road into the cost of the games because this tunnel and the train and the road are not meant for two weeks of competition, they are meant for generations to last."
Rogge also dismissed any concerns about the weather, saying organizers had contingency plans in place in case of adverse conditions. Warm temperatures and rain disrupted some of the snowboarding and freestyle skiing events at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
"I think that the organizers have taken all the precautions to cope with the weather," Rogge said. "The weather in the mountains is always unpredictable. There can be too much snow or too little snow, we have seen it in the previous games. But, you know, if there is such a circumstance then the organizers will react with the plan B."
Rogge won't be the IOC president at the time of the Sochi Games. He steps down in September at the end of his 12-year term.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
- Mariners' Nick Franklin tweets he's been sent down
- Seager's 2 HRs give Seattle 5-3 win over Houston
- Zduriencik and McClendon on the Mariners struggle
- Changes coming after the Mariners' 8th straight loss?
- McHugh strikes out 12 as Astros beat Seattle 5-2
- Dominguez homers to lead Astros over Mariners
- More Seattle Mariners »
- Why just 1 prime-time home game for the Seahawks?
- Seahawks with the most to gain: Greg Scruggs
- Report: Seahawks exec Scot McCloughan resigns
- Seahawks' Richard Sherman named to Time's list of 100 most influential people
- Seahawks will need a finishing touch in 2014
- Richard Sherman talks race with Harvard students
- More Seattle Seahawks »