The Olympic rings are on display in front of a newly-built railway station "Adler" in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Dec. 24, 2013.
Sochi will be the first games since 2000 not attended by a U.S. president, first lady, or vice president. Obama said his decision not to go was due to a busy schedule in Washington, but it has come against a backdrop of increased tensions with Moscow.
Asked if Obama's decision to stay away was a concern, Head of Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov told NBC News: "The Olympic Games are the competition of outstanding sportsmen and this is the main reason why they are interesting.
"It's not a summit, which only the country leaders attend. So we’re not really concerned about it."