News

Win a gold medal, get a luxury SUV

Win a gold medal, get a luxury SUV

YOU GET A NEW CAR!: Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and figure skating gold medal winner Evgeni Plushenko (R) attend a ceremony to present automobiles to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics prize-holders. Photo: Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia rewarded the athletes who helped the Winter Olympics hosts top the medals table in Sochi by presenting the 13 gold medal winners and 20 other podium finishers with luxury SUVs on Thursday.

“If we put it straight, there has been no such event in the contemporary history of our country which would so much consolidate our nation, our people,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told athletes at the handover ceremony held near the Kremlin.

“You gave us this feeling of pride, you didn’t do it on an ordinary day, but rather when the Olympic Games were held in our country.”

Russia won 13 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals at the Games, which ended on Sunday. President Vladimir Putin staked his political reputation to hold a successful Games aimed to show the world the modern face of Russia and boost patriotic sentiment.

Last week the Kremlin chief handed state awards to the athletes in Sochi saying that they have “accomplished the mission” assigned to them.

The cars were provided by Russia’s Olympic athletes support fund, an entity chaired by Medvedev which has senior officials and billionaires on its supervisory board.

Russian Winter Olympics winners in Turin got Toyota and Lexus cars in 2006 and Audi vehicles after the Games in Vancouver in 2010.

The Sochi Games won praise from International Olympic Committee officials and there were no major security incidents, despite fears following suicide bombings in southern Russia in December blamed on insurgents based in the adjacent North Caucasus restive region.

(Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Justin Palmer)

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment, Weird

New Jersey Christmas tree controlled by tweets

treetweet

Twitter users anywhere in the world can control the lights on this holiday display.

in Music

Smith Westerns confirm split

smithwesterns

The group, which formed in 2007, is over.

in Entertainment

Leaked Sony emails reveal Idris Elba in line for ‘Bond’

idriselba

A leaked Sony email named British actor Idris Elba as the frontrunner to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.

in Entertainment

Sarah Jessica Parker eyes return to small screen

sarahjessicaparker

The "Sex and the City" star could be heading back to HBO.

in Music

Jack White hid records in recliners

jackwhite

It just might pay to rip apart your couch.