Anastasia Davydova: “The Olympic festival in Baku will be the first step on the way to the Olympic medals”

Today, at the premises of the ″Ozero Krugloye″ Training Centre, the solemn seeing-off ceremony for the Russian Olympic team took place. The team is going to the XV Summer European Youth Olympic Festival which starts in Baku (Azerbaijan) on 21 July.

It is symbolic that the event took place in the Training Centre where many eminent athletes hone their skills – these are athletes who earned numerous medals, records and bright victories at major international competitions for Russia.

The Secretary General of the ROC, Anastasia Davydova, addressed the young Olympians with parting words.

– The road to the Olympics is long and difficult, – said the five-time Olympic champion. – But it is necessary for each of you to take this road. It is crucial not only to win, but also to gain experience and learn from your mistakes.

For you, the festival in Baku will be the first stage of this season. I am sure that by now you know the difference between a simple tournament and a multisport competition on the Olympic level that awaits you in the capital of Azerbaijan. I have no doubt that you will be guided by all the Olympic principles: respect your opponents, follow the rules of fair play and strive for perfection.

From the moment you joined the Russian Olympic team, the responsibility for results and the image of our great country rests on your shoulders. I wish you success and I hope that the festival in Baku will be the first step on the way to the Olympic medals, – emphasized Anastasia Davydova.

Next, the floor was taken by Olga Domuladzhanova, director of the ″Ozero Krugloye″ Training Centre of the national teams of Russia. She wished the athletes good luck, splendid performances and, most importantly, competitions without injuries.

The culmination of the ceremony was the presentation of the Russian Olympic Committee banner to discus thrower Violetta Ignatieva. The silver medallist of the III Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires thanked the ROC for its support and on behalf of the team promised to return home with medals.

The XV Summer European Youth Olympic Festival will be held in Baku from July 21 to 27. About 3,600 athletes from 50 National Olympic Committees will take part in it. Athletes aged 14 to 18 will compete for medals in 10 different sports: gymnastics, athletics, basketball, cycling, handball, judo, swimming, tennis, volleyball and wrestling.

Twelve of the previous fourteen festivals ended in victory for the Russian national team in the unofficial medal standings. The exceptions are the first and third festivals.

Our team in Baku comprises 112 athletes and among them is swimmer Evgeniya Chikunova. During the adult championship of Russia, which took place in April in Moscow, the 14-year-old native of St. Petersburg won the gold medal in the 200 metres breaststroke, beating the three-time Olympic medallist, five-time world champion Yuliya Efimova. At the EYOF in Baku, the Russian team will participate in 9 different sports, with the exceptions being handball and men’s basketball.