Putin Vows to Ride Olympic Bobsled Run

Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin has pledged to ride the Olympic bobsled run in the Russian town of Sochi after watching trial runs there Friday.

This month, a host of Russian and foreign bobsled and luge athletes have tested the run, which will be used in the 2014 Games.

Putin, visiting with President Dmitry Medvedev and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, also tried his hand at shooting with a biathlon rifle.

Putin, who is currently Russia’s prime minister, hit three of the five targets from a range of 45 meters, but managed to hit four when using a modified rifle for visually impaired athletes.

Russia’s top sliders “only want to train here”, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said while visiting the bobsled run with Putin.

The run would be modified to make it faster next year, Kozak added.

A delegation from the International Olympic Committee visited Sochi earlier this month during a round of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, proclaiming themselves satisfied with work on the Olympic facilities.

“We see no reason for concern. … We are confident the Olympic Games will go smoothly, very well,” IOC chairman Jean-Claude Killy said.


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