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Tbilisi encroaches on Sochi Olympic Games2008-11-21 16:39
Georgia addressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with a request to move Winter Olympic Games 2014 from Sochi to a more secure place.
IOC representative Emmanuelle Maurot confirmed that such a request had been submitted by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Georgia. IOC has made no comments yet while the initiators have already began spouting big words.
The massive document signed by the NOC President and sixteen Georgian Olympic champions states that "the city of Sochi notwithstanding all its sights is located near the planet's hottest point on the European continent - Abkhazia". The authors also informed that the region was now occupied by Russia and with its silent consent ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population had been done there.
-We are not boycotting the Olympic Games. We just ask the International Olympic Committee to locate the Games 2014 in a more secure place", - Georgia's NOC president Giya Natsvlishvili stated. He is echoed by his first deputy Ramaz Goglidze:"Sochi is a very dangerous location". - First appeals of this kind were heard as early as in September. And they had distinct argumentation - to punish Russia for the war with Georgia. This question was even discussed at the EU parliamentary session where it was approved. As a reply to this Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the decisions on Olympic Games location are taken exclusively by the Olympic Committee adding that "it is unwise and harmful" to politicize sports.
The Olympic scandal in the EU parliament expired by itself. Apparently because of that Georgia decided to appeal to the right addressee immediately acquiring supporters. First of all among Sochi's ex rivals for the right to receive the Games 2014.
On November 20 the authorities of Salzburg, Austria, declared their readiness to rescue the winter Games in case the Russian resort by any reason was not able to host them. The local governor Gabi Burgstaller recalled Salzburg's major advantage: all sports facilities had been built up long before and are ready for competitions.
"Sochi has been an unquiet place recently; - Mrs. Governor expressed her "expert opinion". - Chechen rebels planned a series of terrorist attacks there in summer. Besides out of 250 projected facilities not more that 20 are under construction at the moment. According to the information I have Russia has not managed to find a contractor for several sites like for example an ice skating stadium and a number of hotels".