MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Thursday that Russia could become a sporting superpower if sports is popularized. "The government, public organizations, businessmen - all of us have to work on popularizing sport and the Olympic movement," Fradkov said at a government session. The premier said that he believed the country had been taught a good lesson in Singapore on Wednesday, when Russia failed to win the right to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.
But he said, "Everything lies ahead."
"The most important thing is to establish a competitive atmosphere inside the country so that every city becomes an Olympic city," Fradkov said. "It is essential to create a foundation for Russia to be able to become the world's sporting leader."
The premier said sportsmen and sports diplomats should also be involved in the effort to promote the Olympic movement.