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TODAY   |  November 07, 2013

Olympics official promises safety, snow in Sochi

Matt Lauer talks to Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi Organizing Committee, who offers reassurances about claims that members of the LBGT community will be discriminated against in Russia during the Olympics.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in sochi t. action begins in 91 days. so will that city be ready? we will talk to the president of the sochi organizing committee. first, we have more on the preparations. good morning to you.

>> reporter: hey, matt. good morning, everyone. this could be a his tore ec olympic sports for many reasons. it includes the women's ski jump . for the first time on saturday the olympic torch , it won't be lit, by the way. we will be taken on a space walk by two russian cosmonauts. blastoff. the olympic torch sent into space this morning over sochi 's soaring mountain. the winter games will be held here within months. the countdown started. sochi will be ready, says russia 's president. but there have been problems. the torch has traveled to the north pole across russia 's vast tundra. but it's gone out 44 times. this will be one of the most expensive olympics ever, costing $50 billion in one of the warmest cities to host the winter games . they have been storing snow under insulation.

>> we have to also make snow on the very high and transport if problems on the lower sport. i'm not worried about that snow at all.

>> reporter: some worry sochi will be one of the most controversial olympics . there have been protests against anti- gay laws . they say participation and guests will feel comfortable. two detained people. russia apologized. security is tight. sochi is close to chef niya and afghanistan where the boston bombers were from. chechnya has seen war and terrorism, but russia promises the safest olympics ever, determined, the biggest winner.

>> i think what we are about to enjoy is remarkable in olympic history.

>> reporter: and holding the winter olympicics in sochi has been a personal dream for president putin . he has his winter hop days there. and he has been watching closely, matt, to make sure it is a success.

>> yeah, there is a lot at steak. thank you very much. dem demet try is the president of the olympic committee . you had to build so much in sochi from saskatchewan. roads, railways, hotels, venues. 91 days. are you ready?

>> of course. we are ready. we already successfully tested all our competition venues during the most extensive test last winter. it was 22 international sports championships and efforts.

>> let's talk about security. it's always a major concern when the world's athletes and media and spectators gather. this is the first time, though, in history, demet try the games will be staged right next door to what is considered to be the terrorist epicenter. the number one enemy. in july, they urged extremists to use maximum force to disrupt the games . can you keep the games safe?

>> of course. it will be the safest games ever because we understand from the very beginning of our successful campaign that the secretary is the key priority of the organizers and it's a global threat. take boston, for example, this is an illustration that terrorists have no boundaries. from the beginning, we established we are a good administration between russian and american securities and they exchange intelligence and i know that ev is confident that russia is eight provide this.

>> there are two keendz of security, behind the scenes security and in your face security. is there going to be in your face in sochi ?

>> of course, there will be security at any big events. they will be addressed not in the military, the atmosphere will be.

>> let's talk about gay rights , another controversial topic. president putin insisted there will be no discrimination against gay athletes , we know russia is not spending the so-called gay propaganda law. if an athlete marches in the opening ceremony with a rainbow pin or speaks out if favor of gay rights , will that athlete by a rested?

>> absolutely not. what else can i add? when my president already several times express the germany tee guarantees on behalf of race, religion or sexual orientation and we organizers keep social inclusivity in our games and moreover, you know the rainbow chancellor not truly longs to someone. for example, our official uniform for the games org niersz is a rainbow color.

>> what if it's more obvious, what if a gay rights group holds a rally or a protest?

>> according to charter number 50 , any propaganda or demonstrations is prohibited during the games .

>> let me end on lighter subjects. the weather. it's a subtropical climate. it can be 50 degrees in the sochi area around the month of february. is there going to be enough snow? are we going to see snowboarders and skiers competing in short sleeves?

>> no, this is a great example of the duality literally. in the top mountain, we always enjoy a lot of snow.

>> two other things the gold medal in men's hockey will go to --

>> russia .

>> are you sure? how big a deal is that for you?

>> nowadays, the energy is coming to russia . it's a great achievement and another thing, the most desirable scenario in russia , we are looking for is that russia and you in the final russia won.

>> finally. is it sochi or sochi ?

>> sochi . we will put you on the map.

>> good luck. it's nice of you to join us this morning.

>> i look forward to meeting you in person there.

>> you just did. a reminder.