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General Assembly of the SportAccord International Convention

April 20, 2015, Sochi

Vladimir Putin took part in the General Assembly of the SportAccord International Convention, which is underway in Sochi from April 19–24.

The President said he hoped the experts’ work through the convention would help to promote a healthy lifestyle and develop mass sport throughout the world.

Later, Mr Putin attended a working breakfast with IOC members and the heads of international sports federations.

The President said that Russia will make every effort to develop fitness and sport in the country, support sport around the world in all forms, promote a healthy lifestyle, and develop relations between peoples and countries in order to make the world a more stable and predictable place.

Mr Putin thanked the international sports organisation representatives for supporting the efforts to develop sport and fitness in Russia.

SportAccord was established as an international organisation in Lausanne, on April 21, 1967. The organisation focuses primarily on exchanging knowledge and experience in the areas of ethics and the international sport movement’s social responsibility, and promoting cooperation between the sports world and the business community. Every year, representatives of more than 100 international sports federations and organisations take part in this sports and business summit.

Speech at the General Assembly of the SportAccord International Convention

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Bach, Mr Vizer, friends and colleagues,

It is a real pleasure to welcome the participants of this year’s General Assembly of the SportAccord International Convention. I particularly want to congratulate Mr Vizer, who was re-elected today to the post of president of this influential international sports organisation. My congratulations, Mr Vizer.

Russia has successful and productive cooperation with SportAccord and we are pleased to see you gather again in our country, this time in Russia’s sports capital, the city of Sochi.

The Winter Olympics, which took place here a year ago, gave us everything we need for successfully hosting big international sports events and other events, major exhibitions and presentations. I am sure that during your time here, you will have the chance to appreciate the value of the Olympic legacy and the possibilities it offers.

Actually, many of you already know Sochi, and we see your desire to come back here as the international sports community’s positive assessment of our efforts to promote sport and a healthy lifestyle.

Here in Sochi, we have built dozens of modern new sports facilities. In actual fact though, we are developing the infrastructure for mass sport and for top-level sport through the entire Russian Federation.

Naturally, we are giving particular attention to getting ready for the big sports events that have been entrusted to Russia as host country.

Kazan will host the world water sports championship this summer. Next year, we will host the world hockey championship, and then, in 2017 and 2018, we will play host to two major FIFA competitions – the Confederation Cup and the FIFA World Cup. Finally, in 2019, Russia will host the XXIX Winter World Student Games, which will take place in Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia.

There is obviously a lot of work to do, but with our experience and proven ability to keep our word, there is no doubt that we will ensure these big projects’ organisation is of the very best and highest level.

At the same time, let me emphasise how important it is for us to have the support of the international sports community, SportAccord and the IOC. We want to continue our work together and are ready to broaden our cooperation in the interests of sport, peace, and development.

This is particularly important in today’s world. Sport has long since become a universal language and it has a special humanitarian mission to play: its vocation is to unite, not divide, people throughout the whole world and bring vivid and positive emotions to millions of people.

I believe that any confrontation within the sports community itself and inability or unwillingness to listen to each other constitute a real threat to the unity of the global sports movement and sports around the world. This is why the sports community makes such an effort today to look for compromises and respect the rights and interests of athletes, viewers, and everyone who has an interest in sport.

One of the current tasks is to continue developing mass sport. It is important to make more and more people around the world aware of the need for regular exercise and get them to take a fresh look at their lifestyles and give up bad habits.

I hope that the work the experts do through the SportAccord International Convention will help to reach these goals.

In conclusion, I want to wish you productive work and a fruitful search for new solutions in the interests of global sports.

Friends, colleagues,

I sincerely wish you the very best and wish you success in your work. Thank you for deciding to hold this event in Olympic Sochi, in Russia.

Thank you for your attention.

April 20, 2015, Sochi