MOSCOW, Feb. 2 -- The Sochi Winter Olympics will show the world an innovative face of modern Russia, President of the Sochi Steering Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"Our main task has been to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the way which would bring about positive changes and inspire the world," Chernyshenko said.
According to the sports official, the Sochi Games will provide rich heritage for city residents and the Russian citizens as a whole. He mentioned transportation, hospitality and communal infrastructure, "exemplary" barrier-free environment and better ecological situation among the improvements the Games will leave behind.
"A regional summer resort in the past, Sochi has been transformed into a multi-functional -- sports, business, cultural, tourism -- destination of the world class," Chernyshenko said, noting that the investment attraction of the city has also been improved.
The Games will improve Russia's global image and it has been a huge leap to integration of the country into the world-level sporting life, he said.
"Now we regularly host the top competitions," the official noted, mentioning Russia's segment of the Formula One, World Soccer Cup in 2018, World Bobsleigh and Skeleton Championship in 2017 among the events Russia would host in the near future.
Besides, Chernyshenko noted, the Games have given a boost to the volunteer movement in Russia with 26 training centers for the volunteers have been created across the country and the International Olympic University (RMOU) established.
"Russia for the first time ever has entered the Top 10 of the countries by the number of volunteers. That would not happen if it were not for the Games," he stressed.
Chernyshenko pointed out that the Olympic torch relay has been the longest one in the Winter Games history with its 65,000-km travel, including a space leg. The flame of the Games will be lit from the same torch that has travelled to the orbit, he said.
"Every citizen of Russia could feel immersiveness to that event," he said, adding that 22nd Winter Olympic Games' heritage also includes unique experience and skills, national pride and sense of patriotism.
Noting that Beijing and Zhangjiakou have placed their bid to host Winter Olympics in 2022, Chernyshenko wished the Chinese colleagues positive approach and desire to do all best to win the bid.
"Hard work is ahead, which requires real professionals in sports management having experience in Olympic campaigns as well as athletes who know that sphere as no one else," he said.
The Winter Olympics in Sochi are due on Feb. 7-23 with 98 sets of medals up for grab.