Last Updated: 26/09/12 11:27am
Dmitry Chernyshenko: His team have been inspired by the London Games
Dmitry Chernyshenko, the Sochi 2014 organising committee president, claims his team have been inspired to build on London's "brilliant" Olympic and Paralympic legacy and produce an historic Winter Games.
In an interview with the Press Association to mark 500 days to the opening ceremony in the Russian city, Chernyshenko conceded that London's success has created a "big challenge" for Sochi to match.
He also promised that following the extraordinary success of the London Paralympics in particular, Sochi would strive to provide what he hoped would be "the most innovative Paralympic Winter Games in history."
The Sochi Games will see six new venues constructed from scratch in the Olympic Park alone, as well as a half-hour high speed train connection to its mountain hub at Krasnaya Polyana.
Chernyshenko said: "London 2012 was an inspiration and our team of 200 people who were working in the Olympic Observer programme learnt a great deal about how to deliver a brilliant Games.
"The whole Sochi team has been genuinely inspired by the London Games and we are more eager than ever to deliver something really special which makes the world sit up and take notice - not just of the Winter Olympics but Sochi and Russia too.
"I would say we have quite a different task on our hands with 10 times more venues to build from scratch. However we are confident we can deliver a great Olympic experience which will be further improved by what we learnt in London."
Chernyshenko acknowledges that a key aspect of Sochi's success will be its ability to build on the current Paralympic enthusiasm and he believes the Games can play a crucial role in changing attitudes to disability in Russia.
"The whole Sochi team has been genuinely inspired by the London Games. "
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He added: "It is a big challenge but one we look forward to meeting. London has helped to drive even more interest in the Paralympics and now attention is firmly on Sochi 2014 to deliver.
"There are 13 million people with disabilities in Russia and we aim to create a legacy which means new standards, new attitudes and new opportunities.
"We want to create a truly barrier-free environment and positively change lives and leave a lasting change. We want to deliver the most innovative Paralympic Winter Games in history."
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