The winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are now just 100 days away, and new president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, said that preparations for the events are going as planned.
“We are fully confident that the games will be on a magnificent level,” Bach said on Monday. “Sochi and the whole region completed a very big, successful development journey and we have been deeply impressed with this path,” he said, while seated next to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Russia has spent more than $50 billion in anticipation of the games, which will begin on February 7th.
While Bach was clearly pleased with the progress, he made no mention of concerns regarding Russia's anti-gay propaganda law and how that might manifest among visitors and participants.
Putin, for his part, declared that all people would be welcome.
“We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race, or sexual orientation. I would like to underline that,” Putin said.
Those are strong words from Putin and should dampen calls for boycotting the games. Despite those sentiments, how Russia responds to the criticism will likely remain among the hot-button issue as the games approach.