IOC president criticizes politicians for attacking Sochi Olympics on 'backs of the athletes'

The Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, greets International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach at an event welcoming IOC members ahead of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics at the Rus Hotel, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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"We realize what a difficult decision this was to hold the games in a city that barely had 10 to 15 percent of the necessary infrastructure," he said. "You believed in us, you believed in the Russian character which can overcome all difficulties."

"In the space of five years," Putin added, "we built world-class sports venues and city infrastructure that normally takes decades to build."

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Associated Press Writer Leonid Chizhov contributed to this report.

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