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Olympic Committee Head Says Russia Must Finish First in Sochi

Russia's national team must win 10 to 14 gold medals at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and finish first in the unofficial medal count, president of the Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov said Wednesday.

Zhukov based his goal on the idea that support from fans at home helps win 30 percent more medals at Olympic games, Lenta.ru reported.

Canada won the overall medal count with 14 gold medals at the last winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010, and now Russia must match that, the sports official said.

Russia brought home only three golds from Canada three years ago.

Zhukov also cited the latest "positive dynamics" in ice-skating, short track speed skating and snowboarding, while at the same time noting that Russia's team didn't live up to its potential in luge sledding, bob sledding, and biathlon in the winter season.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said earlier he would consider third place in Sochi an "outstanding" result.

More realistically, however, Russia will aim for the fourth or the fifth overall position in 2014, the minister noted.

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