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June 10 - Sochi today promised to stage an "innovative Games with a uniquely Russian flavour" when they host the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics.
The pledge came from Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, at the end of the Vancouver 2010 Debrief where Canadian officials shared ideas and lessons learned from the Games held in February and March.
The debrief, which is in its sixth edition, brought together a large number of Olympic stakeholders, including International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Russian Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Kozak and Alexandr Zhukov.
They were joined by IOC Coordination Commission chairmen René Fasel, who oversaw preparations for Vancouver, and Jean-Claude Killy, who is overseeing the build-up to Sochi, and Vancouver 2010 chief executive John Furlong.
Furlong said: "In our long-standing goal of leaving lasting legacies from our Games, this debrief has been a critical element.
"How well we remember that, four short years before our Games, every piece of experienced advice was invaluable.
"We hope our presentations and discussions this week have been helpful, and we have every confidence that the Sochi 2014 Games will celebrate Russia, the world's best winter sport athletes and the Olympic Movement.
"Our IOC and Sochi 2014 hosts have been warm and gracious hosts, and we thank them for giving us an unfettered view into their project over the past week."
The Debrief is part of a broader transfer-of-knowledge programme initiated by the IOC at the time of the Sydney Games and which is today called Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM).
The programme gives future Games hosts access to a vast array of Olympic knowledge built up from previous organisers’ experience, and provides them with the opportunity to participate in observation and secondee programmes.
The 32 debrief sessions revolved around five general themes: Inspire and Engage, Team-Up and Test, Embrace and Achieve, Experience and Learn and Innovate and Promote.
GIlbert Felli, the IOC Olympic Games Executive Executive Director, said he was impressed with both the quality of the discussions that took place and the spirit of teamwork in which they were delivered.
He said: "This is the sixth debrief we have held, and you can really see the positive evolution of the programme over the years.
"I was particularly impressed with the openness of the Vancouver organisers and their willingness to share everything with their successors.
"Sochi has already been able to glean a lot of information from our transfer of knowledge programmes, but the debrief will no doubt have helped to cement the lessons that they learnt while observing the Vancouver Games, and will inspire them to strive for and achieve the very best in four years’ time."
Chernyshenko said that the event had been incredibly useful for his team.
He said: "Sochi 2014 will be an incredibly creative and innovative Games with a uniquely Russian flavour, while being firmly grounded in Olympic Movement best practice.
"Working with VANOC has allowed us to enhance our plans to ensure Russia's first Winter Games is a success."
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