The day we have all been waiting for seven years has finally arrived, and I am happy to take this opportunity to address those who over the next two weeks will be competing in Sochi and defending the honor of our country. I speak not only on behalf of the Kontinental hockey league, but perhaps also for all hockey fans, since we are sure that everyone who harbors any love for sport feels the same, as we stand on the threshold of one of the greatest sporting events in the history of our nation.
The forthcoming contest will show the results of our combined efforts and aspirations. The Sochi Games program comprises fifteen different sports, but it is common knowledge that among these, it is hockey which enjoys a special status, and that a victory in Olympic hockey is a source of unique pride and prestige. And while every triumph, every medal at every level is valuable to some extent, we nevertheless will hide how proud we are to belong to the sport of hockey, which for the entire duration of these Olympic Games will attract the most excited and rapturous attention from all around the world. And if in Sochi Team Russia plays as well as we know it can, overcomes all obstacles, conquers all difficulties breaks through all barriers, and its players give everything they’ve got, as we all sincerely hope, then our happiness for the game, the team, and for the country will know no bounds.
And so to you, our esteemed Olympic athletes, I wish every success. When we are united, we cannot be defeated.