Results of the International Forum of Young Olympians

On the first calendar day of summer, the International Forum of Young Olympians took place in Moscow, bringing together over 100 young athletes from 16 countries.

Before the start of the official part of the event, the guests visited the sites for agility and response rate tests. A special vibration platform to restore the body after a hard workout or training in the fitness center exited special interest among the athletes.

It was lively in places designated for exhibition performances of representatives of skateboarding and break dance. These two youth sports have recently got Olympic status. Skateboarding will debut at the Games 2020 in Tokyo, and break dance will appear at its best in 2024 in Paris. By the way, Russia already has its own Olympic Champion in this dance discipline. This is Sergey Chernyshev, who won the Gold in the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires.

The President of the ROC Stanislav Pozdnyakov opened the Forum of young Olympians in a solemn ceremony. Besides him, Igor Sidorkevich, Deputy Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation, Olivier Niggli, WADA Director General, Yury Ganus, RUSADA Director, Svetlana Bazhanova, First Deputy Head of the Department of Sport of Moscow, Olympic Champion in speed skating, and Nils Holmegaard, the IOC Olympic Values Promotion Manager, addressed the athletes. Nils Holmegaard, in particular, thanked Stanislav Pozdnyakov and Anastasia Davydova, the ROC Secretary General, five-time Olympic Champion in synchronized swimming, for the invitation to the Forum and conveyed to the participants the warmest congratulations from the IOC President, Thomas Bach.

“You are not only promising athletes, but also the future leaders of the national teams of your countries. Success comes along with responsibility. The whole world will evaluate not only your victories and titles, but also actions outside the arenas,” the IOC representative emphasised when addressing young athletes.

Following the opening ceremony, the educational block of the Forum started. All participants were divided into 10 teams headed by famous athletes, such as the Olympic Champion in ski racing Nikita Kryukov, the Olympic Champion in synchronized swimming Gelena Topilina or the Olympic Champion in short track Ruslan Zakharov. It is interesting that two

teams were completely English-speaking, as they included young people from Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria.

Synchronously moving from station to station and listening to interesting presentations made by representatives of the ROC, RUSADA and SCOLIPE, young athletes learned the history of the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement, the basic rules of the combat against doping, Fair Play principles.

“Honestly speaking, I admire what is happening,” Nikita Kryukov shared his impressions under way. “When I was involved in ski racing, there were nothing like this, and I had to learn many things on my own. Today I have heard and seen excellent presentations – clear, with good illustrations. Of course, It’ll do the youngsters good.” At first they were a little shy, but then they began to enjoy and simply showed interest in every little thing.

After an hour and a half, the Forum participants were divided into two parts. Approximately 60 people went to practice in the intellectual game “Brain Ring”, and the rest were invited to a panel discussion.

Here, an interactive lecture by Tony Cunningham, WADA Senior Education Manager, attracted everyone’s attention.

Four people took to the improvised stage, among them – the five-time Olympic Champion in synchronized swimming Svetlana Romashina. Each was asked to blow up a balloon with time control. Suddenly, the moderator of the competition hollowed a balloon of one of the volunteers and declared him the winner, demonstrating the importance of fair competition with such a simple gesture.

“There are never easy roads in sports,” Svetlana Romashina told the children. “I can not imagine how you can reach the goal unfair. Only those are lucky who move towards victory with hard work, patience and insistency. Now many people say that I have a chance to become the only seven-time Olympic Champion in the world. Believe me, I did not return to synchronized swimming for the sake of it, but to bring victories to my country and defend the ideals of “pure” sport. I want to prove to everyone that even after a maternity leave you can again become the best!”

The speech of Yuri Ganus was very emotional.

“Only you and no one else are responsible for what enters your body before the competition,” RUSADA Director General said. “All the work of

our organization is aimed at protecting pure athletes, but we will be strict with those who neglect the basic anti-doping rules.”

During the discussion, Nils Holmegaard, the IOC Olympic Values Promotion Manager, told the young Olympians about moral pressure and harassment, as well as how to counter such negative phenomena.

At the end of the report, the IOC Officer invited all athletes to register on the Athlete365 portal designed to help overcome career difficulties and cope with psychological pressure.

The Chairperson of the ROC Athletes’ Commission, the Olympic Champion in fencing, Sofya Velikaya, shared the experience of the Commission in the adaptation of athletes who completed an active sports career.

“All members of our Commission have not only sports, but also administrative experience, which makes the work more efficient. We actively cooperate with colleagues from other countries. This makes it possible to form a common view and work out solutions on such important issues as, for example, the protection of the rights of athletes.

We are committed to working closely with the Russian International Olympic University, which offers a number of educational programs and advanced training courses to help finding an interesting job after leaving big-time sports.

One of the main tasks of the ROC Athletes’ Commission is to provide maximum assistance in the training of professional personnel for sports organizations. In any case, an athlete who has completed his/her active career should not feel abandoned to the whims of fate,” Sofya Velikaya stressed.

Officials and young Olympians met again together at the closing ceremony of the Forum, where the Brain Ring results were summarized.

The winner of the intellectual competition was the team of the short-tracker Ruslan Zakharov, the team of the bobsleist Aleksey Seliverstov took the second place , and the third place was shared by the youngsters led by the speed skater Lada Zadonskaya and the swimmer Yevgeny Korotyshkin.

All participants of the International Forum have got certificates and souvenirs: a new edition of the “Olympic Textbook”, a young Olympian’s watch, a ZASPORT belt bag, as well as sunglasses, phone stickers and

stickers with RUSADA symbols. It was also no way round a shared photo that already became traditional.

The Forum ended for young Olympians with a fascinating river cruise on the Moskva River, during which the children saw the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Monument to Peter I, Zaryadye Park and other sights of the capital.