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Countdown to Winter Olympics in Sochi: 100 days away

11:38 AM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Putin: Gay people welcome at Sochi Olympic Games

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The countdown to Sochi is now down to 100 days.

U.S. athletes are gearing up for the 2014 Winter Olympics -- games that are already mired in controversy that Russia's president has tried to calm.

Russia is spending a whopping $50 billion on the games, which have already gone over budget and plagued by delays.

Organizers are rallying thousands of volunteers to help with preparations and cleanup.

With Russia's reputation on the line, Russian President Vladimir Putin is leaving nothing to chance.

"We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation," Putin says.

Putin's comments Monday were an attempt to calm controversy and criticism that erupted in June when Russia adopted a ban on homosexual propaganda.

Though some have threatened to boycott, U.S. athletes say it's important to remember the spirit of the games.

"The Olympics are about the stories of unfortunately defeat sometimes, but also victory and triumph ... those great stories are what makes the Olympic games so captivating to every citizen of this planet, not just of the United States," U.S. figure skater Evan Lysacek.

NBC

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