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 Music

Royalties won’t ‘Stay’ with Sam Smith

11-overlay5

Tom Petty "Won't Back Down" over the similarities between his 1989 hit and the Grammy-nominated "Stay With Me."

in Music

Bob Dylan gives away 50,000 copies of new album to his ‘oldest’ fans

bob-dylan

The veteran rocker has struck a deal with bosses of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to send out copies of his latest record.

in Music

Phillip Phillips wants to be ‘free’

phillipphillips

The "American Idol" winner wants to be released from recording and merchandising deals linked to the TV talent show.

in Entertainment

Emma Watson is Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Updated
emmawatson

The former "Harry Potter" star will play the princess in a live-action version of the Disney film.

in Entertainment

Seekers of the Hollywood Sign disrupt nearby neighborhood

hollywood

Like pilgrims flocking to a holy shrine, they come from all over the world to pay homage to a symbol of celebrity.