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Opening ceremony of the World Athletics Championship

August 10, 2013, Moscow

Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the XIV IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow.

The XIV IAAF World Athletics Championship is taking place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex on August 10–18. More than 4,000 athletes from 206 countries are competing.

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Speech at opening ceremony of the World Athletics Championship

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Today in Moscow, in Russia’s capital, the XIV World Athletics Championship is beginning. I send my warmest greetings to everyone here at this marvellous ceremony, to everyone at this wonderful celebration of sport, youth and friendship.

Russia is hosting the World Athletics Championship for the first time. We value the confidence you have placed in us. We are genuinely delighted to welcome to our country the world’s strongest athletes, best coaches, and all members of the international athletics community.

Athletics is deservedly called the queen of sports. It dates back to almost the very dawn of civilisation, came to embody the ideals of harmony and fair and captivating competition, and today continues to inspire people to play sport. Athletics unites countries and continents and builds trust between peoples.

”Russia is hosting the World Athletics Championship for the first time. We value the confidence you have placed in us.“

Modern day athletics cover dozens of different events that make up a considerable part of the Olympics programme. New records are being set all the time at competitions of this sort, and we hope to see outstanding new achievements here at Luzhniki arena too.

We wish all the athletes success. Of course, we will be supporting the Russian team.

I am sure that the XIV IAAA World Athletics Championship will reveal new talents, give us vivid new emotions, and set new records.

I want to thank all of the organisers, especially here in Moscow, and I want to thank the city’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, for his active involvement in the preparations. This was a big, responsible job and the work has been carried out to the highest standards.

I congratulate everyone on the start of the Championship and wish that you may show us the very best of your abilities. Good luck.


Vladimir Putin: I declare the XIV World Athletics Championship open!

August 10, 2013, Moscow