The Olympic torch has been taking a tour around Sochi ahead of the Winter Games official opening on Friday.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was among several famous faces who donned a tracksuit to run as a torchbearer.
He spoke to euronews about the decision of some dignitaries to stay away from the opening ceremony to criticise Russia’s human rights record.
Lavrov, said : “This [the boycott controversy] is utter nonsense, but since you touched on this topic – I can’t remember any single Olympic Games before that has been accompanied by this kind of talk. Nobody ever counted the heads of state who came or didn’t. They started counting only when they’ve decided that they needed something else to annoy Russia with, to make us feel less comfortable.”
“The invitations were sent, incidentally, not by the host country, but by the International Olympic Committee. Therefore those characters who think too much of themselves – the international and European politicians who have announced their rejection of the invitation – they actually rejected the invitation of the International Olympic Committee. We congratulate them all for that,” he added.
Much has also been made about a terrorist threat to put explosives in toothpaste tube. But some sport fans at the games appear more concerned with other issues, like the fact that some facilities are still being built.
“Well, the electricity sometimes gets cut off for an hour or two. There’s jackhammers noises from the works. So what? The Games are worth it, we can tolerate the inconveniences – Russian people have survived much worse in history!” said one visitor.