December 8, 2012 / 5:01 PM / 5 years ago

Figure skating-Putin watches skaters test Olympic rink in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the figure skating Grand Prix Final on Saturday, held in the Black Sea resort of Socchi which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Putin was watching from the VIP box at the new 12,000-seat Iceberg Skating Palace, which will stage the figure skating and short track events in February 2014. It was the first international test event held in the city’s Olympic Park.

He was accompanied by the president of the International Skating Union Ottavio Cinquanta and fellow International Olympic Committee members Jean-Claude Killy and Gilbert Felli as well as Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.

The Sochi Olympics are a prestige project for Putin that will allow him to showcase Russia’s ability to organise major events and boost its international image.

The Iceberg arena, the first to be completed for the Games, officially opened in October. (Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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