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The President of the Republic greeted Estonian Olympic winners

President Arnold Rüütel today greeted Estonian Olympic winners Kristina Šmigun and Andres Veerpalu, and their coaches in Vabaduse Square.

In the words of the President of the Republic, Estonia won at least seven big victories in Turin. ''In addition to the three first places in cross-country events, the Olympic Games gave both to the younger and older people a strong impulse to pay attention to one's physical development and enhanced everybody's love of skiing. This was certainly our fourth victory.''

''Beside hobby-skiers, thousands of young athletes got inspiration to train harder and aspire to their own medals. I consider this Estonia's fifth big victory at the Turin Winter Olympics. Here the example set by our Olympic heroes is invaluable,'' President Rüütel added.

''I believe that Mati Alaver and Anatoli Šmigun have shown to people from all walks of life how through one's commitment and systematic work it is possible to achieve great success. This is a useful lesson, but also the sixth victory for all of us,'' the Head of Estonian State said.

President Rüütel thanked the winter sportsmen due to whom the people of Estonia could enjoy victory and pride. ''The seventh, maybe the most essential victory is that during those days we, as a nation, experienced eagerness to act together and unity. Thank you for all those priceless victories!'' the President of the Republic said.

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, February 27, 2006

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