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OLYMPICS

IOC satisfied with Russia's progress on 2014 Games

International Olympic Committee officials said Thursday they are satisfied with Russia's preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, only urging the Russians to speed up work on building hotels.

The IOC coordination commission wrapped up a three-day visit to the Black Sea resort. The commission was accompanied Wednesday by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has taken personal responsibility for the success of the games.

"The work done so far reconfirms my conviction that Russia and Sochi will host the 2014 Olympics at a very high level," commission chairman Jean-Claude Killy said.

This was the IOC commission's fourth visit since Russia was awarded its first Winter Olympics in 2007. Russia's ability to finish the work on time has been a concern because nearly all of the venues are being built from scratch in one of the biggest construction projects in Europe.

"Every time we meet with President (Dmitry) Medvedev or Prime Minister Putin, we have a complete sense that this project is priority No. 1 nationally," Killy said.

Killy said some aspects need close monitoring, including the development of hotels and recruitment and training of staff.

Sochi organizing committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko said his group is working with existing hotels to make sure rooms are affordable and to prevent speculation. He promised that 20,000 new rooms would be built, including 13,000 around the Olympic Park.

A total of 43,000 hotel rooms are needed for the games.