Putin says Olympic sites “almost ready,” calls snow camping “fun and healthy”

5 Feb

MOSCOW–as questions grew as to whether Sochi would be ready for the opening of the Winter Olympics on Friday, Russian President Putin said that “virtually all preparations are complete.” In an unrelated aside, he then spoke at length about the virtues of snow camping, calling it a “fun and healthy activity that everyone can enjoy,” especially athletes and their families.

“You can dig a hole in the ground, you can make a snow fort, you can pitch a tent–these are all pleasant and economical alternatives to staying in hotels,” said Putin at a press conference.

Putin also shared several anecdotes from a recent trip he took to Sochi, during which he lived off the land, hunting and foraging. “In every way, my visit was more pleasant than if I had come expecting to buy food in shops or restaurants.”

Putin closed the session by noting that, contrary to media reports, gay athletes would be quite welcome in Sochi, “as long as they are not attracted to members of the same sex.”

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