Kremlin to honour Russian Olympic team

August 15th, 2012 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 15 (IANS) Russian athletes returning from the London Olympics will be honoured at the Kremlin, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has said.

“I signed an order to honour you with high state awards. The President invites all of you for a social function Wednesday. You will be awarded at the reception,” Mutko said in a statement on the ministry’s website, Xinhua reported.

According to the ministry, total awards could reach 300 million rubles ($9.45 million) for the athletes. Gold winners will get 4 million rubles ($126,000), silver 2.5 million rubles ($78,700) and bronze 1.7 million rubles ($53,500).

Among the awards, cars will be given to the medal winners on the Red Square near the Kremlin, the minister said.

The Russian team, ranked fourth in the London Games which concluded Sunday, returned with 24 gold, 25 silver and 33 bronze medals. Though Russia didn’t finish among the top three, Mutko called the results “brilliant”.

“Our performance is better than it was at the Beijing Olympics. It is brilliant. Not every country is capable of that,” the minister said.

At Beijing, Russia reached top three behind China and the US with 72 medals, including 23 gold.

“The system works, nothing needs to be amended, nothing needs to be invented,” Mutko said.

He vowed that at the 2016 Olympics due in Brazil, Russia would make one more step forward in several sports like track cycling, rowing, swimming and shooting.

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