September 28 - Russian news and information agency RIA Novosti has been named as the host national news agency and national Olympic photo pool for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.
IOC Press Commission chairman Kevan Gosper told a RIA Novosti press conference: "We are proud to announce that RIA Novosti was chosen as the host national news agency for the Sochi 2014 Olympics."
The agency was selected following its work promoting the values embodied by the Olympic Games and it will enjoy the same status as that afforded to the likes of the Associated Press and Reuters, who are also officially recognised by the IOC.
The decision was confirmed to RIA Novosti's editor in chief Svetlana Mironyuk in Moscow this month.
RIA Novosti will provide national news, sport and pictorial coverage of the Sochi Olympics, focusing primarily on Russian athletes.
Mironyuk spoke of the honour felt by the organisation at the award of the rights, saying: "This is the first time a Russian media outlet has been appointed as the host news agency for the Olympic Games.
"It's a great honour and responsibility and a wonderful opportunity for us to make a big qualitative step in development and take a place in the team of the world's news agencies."
The IOC delegation, which visited Moscow to deliver the good news, also met with Dmitry Kozak, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister who is overseeing the preparation for the Games, who also praised RIA Novosti and expressed his faith in their ability to deliver.
The news comes at the end of a highly successful month for the Sochi 2014 organisers, having broken a sponsorship record for an Olympic Games following the International Business Forum (pictured) held in the town, reaching $1.2 billion (£762 million/€877 million), surpassing both the Beijing 2008 and next year's London Games.
Sochi also agreed to host a second peace camp with Generations For Peace, the charitable organisation which seeks to promote peace and development through sport, which takes place in October.
An IOC Coordination Commission also gave a glowing report of Sochi's progress for the Winter Olympics after concluding their visit to its venues a fortnight ago.
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