Organizer: Sochi Showcases New Russia

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News,World

After a 10-year journey to bring Sochi to the world stage, Dmitry Chernyshenko is proud as the Olympics draw to a close. He led Sochi's winning bid for the games and the organizing committee for Russia's first Winter Olympics in his hometown. (Feb. 21)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Sochi, Russia - 20 February 2014

1. Tilt up from reflection in puddle to wide of Olympic flame

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee President:

"For me, a Sochi native, I do remember here there was just a bush, the wetland, literally nothing. Some coast, or some birds, nothing."

3. Olympic and Sochi 2014 flags flying with Olympic flame behind it

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee President:

"What we have achieved here really demonstrates that it was a very thought-out decision, because from day one we never faced any problem, either with transportation or for logistics, crowd management. Everything was thought out, everything perfectly planned, so we are very happy."

5. Close-up of visitor taking a photo

6. Wide of Olympic rings with woman posing for photo

7. Close-up of woman posing

8. Flame shot through Olympic rings

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee President:

"This chance to demonstrate to the world that Sochi was used as a display and showcase of new modern Russia, was just incredible. Now everybody can see that we are different from the stereotypes, we're modern, we're transparent, we're efficient and we welcome the world."

10. Cutaway of Russian flag

11. Close-up of Olympic flag flying in front of the Olympic flame

STORYLINE:

Dmitry Chernyshenko, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee President, spoke to the Associated Press as the countdown began to Sunday's closing ceremony.

Walking through the Black Sea resort's showcase Olympic Park, Chernyshenko stressed the changes that an investment of around 51 (b) billion US dollars has brought to the once-fading Soviet summer resort.

"Can you imagine," he said, gesturing at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, "for me, a Sochi native, I do remember here there was just a bush, the wetland, literally nothing. Some coast or some birds, nothing."

Now six gleaming sports arenas ring the Olympic Park, while a brand new eight (b) billion US dollar road and rail system links the coast to world-class winter sports venues in the mountains, some 60 kilometres (37 miles) away.

Early criticism of Sochi's preparations centered around unfinished hotel rooms, and organizsers acknowledge some non-games related facilities were not completed on time.

But Chernyshenko said the absence of any major logistical problems, and the positive response from athletes and spectators since then are better indicators of Sochi's success.

"This chance to demonstrate to the world that Sochi was used as a display and showcase of new modern Russia, was just incredible," he said.

"Now everybody can see that we are different from the stereotypes, we're modern, we're transparent, we're efficient and we welcome the world," he added.

Chernyshenko said forthcoming events including a G8 summit, Formula One race and FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup competition will ensure the games investment transforms into a lasting legacy for his hometown.

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