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)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Coming soon: The Mustache Hall of Fame

burtreynolds

There are halls of fame for everything from baseball to rock 'n' roll, so why not those with a hairy upper lip?

in Entertainment

Inspiration for ‘Harry Potter’ nemesis revealed

harrypotter

J.K. Rowling says the much-hated character Dolores Umbridge is based on a teacher to whom she took an instant dislike.

in Music

‘Blurred Lines’ dispute heading to trial

thickepharrell

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are heading to trial over allegations they illegally sampled music from Marvin Gaye.

in Entertainment

Pee-wee Herman headed back to big screen

peewee

Actor Paul Reubens is set to reprise his role as suited man-boy Pee-wee Herman in a new movie.