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Russia's Winter Olympic city to close only ice rink


SOCHI, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - Financial problems are forcing the closure of the only central ice skating rink in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, which is set to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, an official said on Tuesday.

"The owner of the skating rink said it will be closed on June 20. Unfortunately, our influence over him is limited and we cannot force him to continue operating the skating rink," Dmitry Storozhev, the head of the physical culture and sports department with the municipal administration, said.

Owner Sergei Truyan said the skating business had become unprofitable and he had notified the municipal administration of the closure in advance.

The rink was opened in 2006 and its unveiling was attended by the head of the Russian Olympic bidding committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko.

Sochi won the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics at an IOC session in Guatemala in July 2007.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier the Russian government had channeled 113 billion rubles ($3.25 billion) into the Olympics project in 2008, and would invest a further 127 billion rubles ($3.65 billion) in 2009.

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