2007-07-26 15:31:00

Congratulation of Patriarch Alexy II to Russian President on Sochi's hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 2014

Your Excellency, highly respected Vladimir Vladimirovich,

As all the Russian citizens I was happy to hear the news from Guatemala about the International Olympic Committee's decision to award Sochi with holding the Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

Russia would host winter sportsmen at this high international level for the first time. We have gained this right in a difficult struggle. I am happy that in spite of your busy agenda at the US Summit on the eve of the Guatemala meeting you had personally represent our country at the presentation and, through your bright and expressive address persuaded the IOC members to give preference to our country. I cordially greet you, Russian delegation and all members of the Russian Olympic Committee with this important victory.

The IOC decision shows recognition of Russia's contribution to the development of the Olympic movement. Many of our compatriots who watched the events in Guatemala with hope and feelings have been happy to receive the news. The IOC decision has given a strong impetus for comprehending the greatness of our country, and for strengthening patriotic feelings and national dignity. We have worthily gained the right to host the Olympic Games in Sochi.

This is the first victory on the way to the Olympic Games. I hope it will be convincingly continued in the preparing and hosting the Olympic Games, in creating proper conditions for the development of sports in our country and for the Olympic movement as a whole.

Highly respected Vladimir Vladimirovich, I wish you spiritual and physical strength, inspiration and blessed success in your ministry to the great Russia at your high and responsible post of President of the Russian Federation.

With sincere respect,

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia