26 february 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the Judo Centre in Tyumen


Prime Minister Putin's address:

Good afternoon, friends,

I'd like to congratulate you on the opening of this great gym, which has taken two years and 700 million roubles to build. This is serious money, even for a relatively rich region like Tyumen.

Both beginners and accomplished athletes will be able to improve their skills here so that they can one day dazzle us with their achievements. It is gratifying to see both young athletes and elderly folks here today.

Of course I have to mention what's on everyone's mind: the performance of our national Olympic team in Vancouver.

We certainly hoped for more. However, there is no reason lose heart or beat ourselves over the head about it, and it certainly gives us something to think about. We must review our performance, draw our conclusions and perhaps change the way we do things. The goal of this review is to fix our problems and do what's necessary to help our Olympic team train for and succeed at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Let's not forget about our athletes who achieved excellent results, winning the gold and other medals. Likewise, we must not leave out those who tried their best and fought to the finish, but who fell just short of a medal. I am confident that these athletes will achieve great success both in life and in sports and will continue to bring us joy with their accomplishments. I have no doubt that the same is true of those of you here today.

Congratulations once more on the opening of this excellent facility.

Good luck!

* * *
Prime Minister Putin speaks with people after visiting the Judo Centre

Vladimir Putin: Hi, why aren't you training yet? It's time to get started. Look at this big new gym you've got.

Remark: We'll start soon. We were just waiting for it to open.

Vladimir Putin: It's an awesome gym.

Remark: What have you seen so far?

Vladimir Putin: Everything. I saw guys training and warming up. This gym is perfect!

Remark: Have you seen the rhythmic gymnasts? We're waiting for our children.

Vladimir Putin: No. We've only seen a wrestling practice.

Question: Mr Putin, I'd like to ask you a question about sports. Our team has performed so poorly at the Olympics. Something has to be done about sports in this country. Figure skating is getting worse, and so is hockey and everything else. We're very concerned about it. What do you plan to do?

Vladimir Putin: I've just spoken about this. I know sports firsthand. They're unpredictable. Our Olympic team's performance in Vancouver certainly gives us something to think about. We have to analyse our mistakes and failures. However, there is no reason to lose heart or beat ourselves over the head about it. That's the first thing.

Remark: We're behind our team. We love and respect them. These things happen, I suppose.

Vladimir Putin: Second, some Russian athletes have achieved excellent results. The criticism is deserved, but let's not forget about our winners and the other athletes who tried their best and showed their mettle. These athletes will get better and I'm sure that they will have success in the future. We need to focus on preparing for the 2014 Sochi Olympics now. Good luck!