Nov 28, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT
Sochi Olympic preparations take priority over holiday celebrations, Russian president Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
“We have the New Year and Christmas holidays ahead of us,” Putin said on TV, according to Agence France-Presse. “I’d like to say, I think it should be clear that for you, New Year’s will come … on March 18. For you and for everyone who is working on the Olympic venues.
“Everyone working on this massive, grandiose project must understand this.”
New Year’s appears to be more celebrated in Russia than in the U.S. From Reuters:
Russia comes to a virtual standstill between December 31 and January 8, with the main family celebrations on New Year’s Eve, a tradition that dates to the Soviet Communist era. Many Russians now also celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7.
Putin declared the Olympic ski jumping venue fully ready on Wednesday, but there is still work to be done before the Games begin Feb. 6. Fisht Stadium, home to the Opening Ceremony, has not yet been opened and will be inspected by Putin on Friday, according to Reuters.
“It is not only evident to us, but to all observers too, that tremendous, high-quality work has been done,” Putin told Olympic organizers, according to Reuters. “There are things that need to be accomplished, perfected at the final stage.”
- Los Angeles talks with USOC, San Francisco about 2024 Olympic bid, reports say 0
- Jim Craig wants to sell ‘Miracle on Ice’ memorabilia, gold medal 0
- Abby Wambach: I plan to play in Rio Olympics, future decisions to be made 1
- Phil Dalhausser, Sean Rosenthal split 0
- Boston ends bid for 2024 Olympics; USOC wants another city 5
- Boston mayor: Olympic bid won’t go forward if forced to sign contract today 3
- Neymar: I told Barcelona I want to play in Rio Olympics 1
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)