Feb. 15 - Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Team USA house at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped in on the U.S. team at the Winter Olympics on Friday (February 14) and sipped red wine with officials in an apparent attempt to build bridges with the United States. U.S. President Barack Obama decided not to come to Sochi and, after criticism of Putin's stance on gay rights, sent a delegation including gay officials. But there was no sign of the strains as Putin, looking relaxed, sat on a sofa with U.S. team officials at their headquarters and chatted about the Games. The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee Scott Blackmun told Putin he was 'disappointed' with the Russian skating champion Plushenko's abrupt withdrawal from the competition on Thursday (February 13). Russia's flamboyant figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko pulled out of the Winter Olympics through injury on Thursday in a shock twist that immediately deflated home fans pumped up by an opening victory for their beloved men's ice hockey team. U.S.-Russian relations are strained by differences over many issues, from civil rights to regional conflicts such as the civil war in Syria. Putin, who has staked his reputation on the Games, likened criticism of Russia over the Games this week to the West's Cold War "containment" of the Soviet Union.