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Meeting with Russia’s Olympic judo team

August 11, 2012, Sochi

Vladimir Putin congratulated Russia’s judo team on their successful performance at the London Olympics and invited them to attend Russia’s first mixed martial arts championship, taking place in Sochi.

Many-times world mixed martial arts champion Fedor Yemelyanenko and actor Steven Seagal also took part in the meeting.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I want to thank the coaches and all of the athletes on their excellent results at the Olympics. This was probably the best result in Russian judo history, and even in the Soviet years we did not have such a good result. 

This is above all the result of your hard work and effort, your determination and talent. I hope very much that you will continue to aim just as high for as long as possible, and I hope of course that the women’s team will shine just as brightly as the men at subsequent competitions. 

I congratulate you once again.

Today, we have the chance to see perhaps not as high-level a competition as the Olympic events, but nonetheless a very worthy and, I think, very interesting competition.

We will see some real fighters today, strong and tough guys. I’m sure you have seen all this on plenty of occasions, but here is a chance to be present in person and see it with your own eyes. 

We have some honoured guests with us today. Mr Steven Seagal has come here especially from the United States to greet you all and attend the competition, and Fedor Yemelyanenko is a well-known fighter and sportsman here in Russia.

We do not have any extraordinary challenges to meet today. I am just happy to have this chance to see you, congratulate you once more on your outstanding performance at the Olympics, and wish you success and all the best. 

August 11, 2012, Sochi