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IOC exec praises Sochi fans

SOCHI, Russia -- A senior International Olympic Committee official is lauding the atmosphere at Sochi venues and decrying critics who he says were expecting Russia to fail.

Olympics Games executive director Gilbert Felli told a news conference Friday that athletes in Sochi are happy about how they have been received at venues.

Felli quoted their feedback, saying Russian fans would "applaud for the success for all the athletes," not just competitors from their own country.

There were complaints of empty seats at the beginning of the Games but venues seem to have filled up by now. Felli deflected the criticism as a striving to find faults.

Felli says his "feeling is that we have people coming in and waiting to see that it's not going to be a success."