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Putin Says Winter Olympics Accomplished Goal

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach during the closing ceremony of the Sochi games on February 23.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Sochi Winter Olympics accomplished their goal of presenting the face of a new Russia to the world.

At a state awards ceremony for Russian athletes and their coaches on February 24, Russia conveyed "a huge, heartfelt thanks" from millions of Russians.

Russia came out on top of the medals table at the games, which ended on February 23, winning 33 medals, including 13 golds.

In the run-up to Sochi, which cost more than $50 billion, Russia faced criticism over the games' exorbitant price tag, as well as a controversial law banning homosexual "propaganda" among minors that activists and Western governments said was discriminatory.

There were also security concerns following suicide bombings in southern Russia in December.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Reuters