Switzerland is ready for Sochi

Bern, Press releases, 05.12.2013

Presence Switzerland, which is part of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), presented a broad outline of the activities it has planned for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Our winter sports athletes have gotten off to a very good start this season, giving us reason to hope for numerous medals, which will be celebrated in the House of Switzerland Russia 2014 at the heart of the Olympic Park. Proud of its traditions yet focused on innovation, Switzerland will take advantage of this global media event to showcase its economic, political, touristic and scientific strengths to visitors of the Olympic Games. During the games, Switzerland will also kick off the celebrations – in the presence of the president of the Swiss Confederation – to mark 200 years of bilateral relations with Russia.

This morning, Swiss Olympic organised the first information meeting on the Winter Olympics in Sochi for the press accredited. The event presented an ideal opportunity for Presence Switzerland to set out in detail its activities at the games.

While the final selection of the Swiss Olympic team will only be made on 27 January – based on the athletes' performance – Swiss Olympic expects the Swiss delegation to comprise about 150 athletes, and hopes that it will reach 8th place in the ranking of medals by country.

With Lara Gut as the top-ranked skier in the general classification of the FIS World Cup, and the Swiss teams having won medals at the European Curling Championships last weekend, Switzerland can legitimately hope for Olympic medals on the shores of the Black Sea.

The House of Switzerland will be located at the entrance of the Olympic Park. This ideal location will guarantee Switzerland maximum visibility. Run by Presence Switzerland, the House of Switzerland will serve as a home for Swiss athletes, their families and friends, as well as a window on Switzerland for all visitors. At the House of Switzerland, everyone will have an opportunity to celebrate Swiss medals, sample our country's specialities, and watch the games.

The goal of this platform is also to promote Switzerland in all its diversity. Proud of its traditions yet focused on innovation, Switzerland will take advantage of this global media event to showcase to the visitors of the Olympic Park and to thousands of international media outlets its economic, political, touristic, cultural and scientific strengths. The happy coincidence of dates between the Olympic Games and the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Russia is an ideal opportunity to put on an exhibition of the long-standing collaboration between great Swiss and Russian scientists. The exhibition will showcase Switzerland's capacity for innovation and international competitiveness. The President of the Swiss Confederation in 2014, Didier Burkhalter, will launch this bicentennial while visiting Sochi to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Federal Councillor and sports minister Ueli Maurer will follow Mr Burkhalter to Sochi to cheer on the Swiss athletes and represent Switzerland. Federal Councillor and head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs Alain Berset will travel to Russia in March to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games and watch the athletes compete. The Swiss Paralympic team, composed of about 15 athletes, will benefit from a Swiss presence in the alpine zone in the Rosa Khutor ski resort, in a restaurant which will also be used by the Swiss mountain sports athletes.

For further information:

Nicolas Bideau
Head of Presence Switzerland
+41 (0)79 667 69 15

Hashtag: #hoppswiss

Further information:

House of Switzerland Russia 2014

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs