Chinese officials give thumbs up to Sochi

Sochi, Feb 5: Athletes will enjoy themselves in the “comfortable” Sochi Winter Olympics Village that “offers convenience in every aspect”, a Chinese sports official said Wednesday.

Deputy chef de mission of the Chinese delegation Xiao Tian, just hours off his flight from Beijing, said he already felt at home, reports Xinhua.

“The food in the dining hall is fantastic. They have a section of Asian food with good flavour. The rooms we stay in look pretty nice,” he said after the national flag hoisting ceremony in the coastal athletes village.

Xiao was especially impressed by the proximity between the village and competition venues.

“They are so close to each other. I think this will help athletes create best results here. After so many Olympics, I think Sochi’s village can be rated as outstanding,” he said.

Speed skater Zhang Shuang agreed with the official.

“Four athletes share an over 100 square metres flat and I like the food here,” she said.

A total of 45 athletes and officials attended the ceremony where former pole vault queen Elena Isinbayeva, as mayor of coastal athletes village, exchanged gifts with Xiao, who received a set of matryoshka, the traditional Russian toy doll, and Isinbayeva was given a blue and white porcelain plate.

China sent a 139-member delegation that included 66 athletes for the Feb 7-23 Games in the Black Sea resort city.

IANS