The All-Russian Olympic Day is the Embodiment of the Principals, Outlined by Baron Pierre de Coubertin

It seemed that on Sunday the Fontain Square of the Sokolniki Park, hosted the mini Olympic Games. Moreover these were Summer and Winter Games in one.  XXIX All-Russian Olympic Day was held there. This year it was coincided with the Summer Youth Olympic Games, to be held in October in Buenos Aires.

The visitors of the park, among whom there was  a lot of juniors,  their parents with children, had the opportunity to get acquainted with different kinds of sport, have a shot at those, though at the exhibition grounds and using the entertainment exercise equipment, and may be even make decision on their choice. However, the table tennis tables, basketball hoop and the skateboard slide were real, and not mini.

The event was attended by the ROC President Stanislav Poznyakov, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation since September 2013, First Vice-President of the ROC  Igor Levitin, about fifty famous Russian athletes, winners, prize-winners of the Olympic Games, World and European championships.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, who opened the Olympic Day feast, spoke a lot about the ideals of Olympism.

– For many years sports specialists are trying to give accurate definition of the concept of Olympism, said the head of the ROC. – Although, there is an Olympic Charter, where it is said that Olympism is a philosophy of life, centered around the balance of body, spirit and mind. Its final goal is all-around physical and spiritual development of a person, when such qualities as speed, agility, power are organically combined with moral education and will to win.
We must strive to build the society, based on these values. Hence the main task of the Olympic movement is to make as many people as possible share the ideals of Olympism.

Today, our Olympic champions, coaches and heads of all-Russian sports federations are standing next to me on the stage. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of them for their contribution to the development of national sports.

Many participants of the Olympic Day performed at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang this year. For our athletes due to certain reasons these Games were not easy, but thanks to the unity of our team and its fans we gave a worthy performance in Korea. We all remember great performance of our figure skaters, skiers, representatives of other sports, and the brilliant victory of our hockey team, although they made us worry a little in the finals!

These achievements are not only the reason to be proud for our country, but also a motivation for dozens of thousands of our young guys to go in for sports, which is especially important on the eve of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, to be held in October in Buenos Aires. let us wish the young Olympians success in their first Olympics!

Then Aide to the President , First Vice-President of the ROC Igor Levitin took the floor, and announced that Head of the State backed the appeal of the Russian Athletes Union to rise the stipends to sports veterans and instructed the Government to consider this issue.
He reminded that at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games Russian athletes were denied the right to rise their flag and sing the anthem. “Nevertheless, in such conditions, they won, and we won together with them, all those who watched the competitions on TV”, said the ROC Vice-President.

– Olympic Day is the day of propaganda of Olympism and healthy lifestyle, said Deputy

Minister of Sport of the RF Sergey Kosilov. The phrase ‘ Beauty will save the world’ is widely known. But where did you see beauty without good health? That is why the it can be rephrased: ‘Healthy lifestyle will save the world’. I urge you to follow it and promote it among others.

Vladislav Gasumyanov, Vice President for Interaction with the Government and Management of Nornickel, welcomed the meeting on behalf of the company’s management and its team of about 100,000  metallurgists, miners, power engineers, and workers.

– They say that the metals, mined by Norilsk Nickel are the gold reserve of our country.” However, those who consider our glorious athletes to be the gold fund, are also right.

The development of the Olympic Movement is in our focus. Norilsk Nickel and the ROC are partners. We have  a joint project with the ROC and the RIOU to prepare sports specialists. In addition, our company is a general sponsor of the 2019 Winter Universiade, added Vladislav Gasumyanov.

At the end of the solemn part, 2016 Olympic champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics Margarita Mamun, addressed the sports lovers.

– You are our main support, she stressed. So were you at the recent Winter Olympic Games and at the Rio Games, where I happened to perform. Thank you for coming to support us, in spite of the rain.

Of course, honored actress of the RF Anita Tsoy. Together with the students of the Bravo-DGTU (Rostov-on-Don) studio theatre she sang her song with a symbolic name Victory, written especially for the 2018 World Cup.

At the stadiums before the football matches fans are having fun, trying to hit the inflatable gates. At the Olympic Day guests were offered to hit the handball gates, protected by the Olympic champion and silver medalist of the 2018 Beijing Olympics Maria Sidorova or hit the target with a rugby ball, which requires a special skill.

Neither the Roc President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, neither Vice-President of the Norilsk Nickel Company Vladislav Gasumyanov, who were examining the exhibition together, managed to hit the target. However, when they reached the Fencing Federation tent, where it was offered to hit certain parts of the mannequin with any weapon, sabre, foil or sword, the representative of the ROC partner company reasonably remarked: “Well, here it is all clear”. Pozdnyakov is a four-time Olympic champion in Sabre Fencing.

The youngest children were, of course, were impressed by the Equestrian Federation pavilion, where they could draw. But what is more important, is that there was a paddock with tiny horses. To tell the truth, I was confused; they were neither ponies, nor the new-born foals, they could stand turned out it was a breed of miniature american horses (up to 86sm at the withers), used on the one hand to teach children riding, and on the other hand to cure kids with cerebral palsy, autism, neuroses.

Well, mini horses matched the style of out mini Olympics.

In addition, during the day at the Fountain Square of the Sokolniki park Curling, Luge sport, Skateboarding, Table Tennis, Serfing, Martial Arts and Rowing workshops were organized with the support of the all-Russian sports federations.

Also all interested could take part in the classes on the Qigong, given by the qualified specialists of the Interregional Healthy Qigong Association, and the quest Olympic Rout, organized by the ROC general partner Russian brand of casual and sportswear ZASPORT, official outfitter of the Russian Olympic team. Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA conducted a quiz Play Fair within the Outreach global education program.

The culmination of the feast was the stars football match between the team of Olympic champions and prize-winners of summer and winter sports, which is held traditionally at the Olympic Day celebration.

Here what famous athletes said to the ROC Information Service abou the event in Sokolnoki:

Alia Mustafina, two-time Olympic champion, Artistic Gymnastics:

– It is great that such events are being held. I would rather say that there is a little less excitement around the Olympic Day today, than it was last year, because now all the attention is focused on the home World Football Cup. But still people came to see representatives of different sports, the people they supported at the Olympics and at the other competitions.

Oleg Kvasha, bronze medalist of the 2002 Olympic Games, Ice Hockey:

– It is the first time that I visit the Olympic Day and I am now sure that this is a holyday for everybody. On the one hand, it was pleasant to find myself in a company of Olympic champions and prize-winners. On the other hand so much people with kids gathered in Sokolniki and they could try themselves in different kinds of sport. There you can find basketball hoops, mini-golf. I was offered to ride on a skateboard, but I was afraid. By the way why not put plastic ice in addition to the table hockey? I think that many children would like to try to deliver a puck.

David Musulbes, 2000 Olympic champion, Freestyle Wrestling:

– The organization is perfect, and the weather is great. The holyday once again gathered many Olympic winners and medalists. Among them there a lot of myfriends and athletes of different generations. Some of them were my idols, others made us proud at these Olympics.

Alexandr Lesun, 2016 Olympic champion, Modern Pentatlon:

– At the Olympic Day principals outlined by Pierre de Coubertan are embodied. Here athletes communicate with fans and they get to know each other. In Borisov, a small town in Belorussia, where I was born, local people always celebrated the Liberation Day. “It is so cool, that my birthday is on that day,” I thought when I was a child. And later the Olympic Committee gave me another present – the Olympic Day, for which I am very grateful to the organizers.

Dmitriy Soloviev, 2014 Olympic champion, Figure Skating:

– It is my third or fourth Olympic Day. Each time the the atmosphere is very festive. Here you are surrounded by kind people, who love sport, who charge you with positive emotions.

Anna Sidorova, two-time Olympic champion, Curling:

– I like to be part of sport. It’s my life. That is why I try to visit all sport events, if I can. I am still on vacation, and I am very glad that I came here to celebrate this holyday with my colleagues-athletes and fans.

Albert Demchenko, three-time Olympic silver medalist, Luge sport:

People usually come to celebrate the Olympic Day with their families. Our ground is always full of people. Children try to master street luge, adults start to ask for the address of the nearest sports club. In general in some way this holiday decides on the fate of the new generation.