22 May 2014
ROC President Alexander Zhukov told the participants of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum about the results of the Sochi Olympic Games
President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov took part in Russia-24 televised debates wihin the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which opened on Thursday. The topic of discussion was Olympic legacy – lessons and opportunities. Towards the 2018 World Cup. Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014 Jean-Claude Killy, Presidentand CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Interros holding company Vladimir Potanin and others attended the round table along with the Head of the ROC.
“Time flies like an arrow and several months have already passed since Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, triumphant for Russia. Thousands of athletes, volunteers, journalists and spectators received unforgettable impressions of this wonderful city, of the most modern sports facilities, of the local hospitality and of the people who delivered these games”, – Alexander Zhukov said at the beginning of his speech.
According to the ROC President, significant legacy for Krasnodar Krai and for the whole Russia was left after the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been hosted in Sochi. “Thanks to these Games for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian athletes have training grounds for all winter sports. Sports venues represent an international center equipped with everything necesary – training grounds, hotels and healthcare facilities. Beyond that all this is located in a dynamic city with a modern infrastructure, including the international airport, business centers, concert halls and more. Right before our eyes Sochi has transfromed from a local resort to a year-round world-class sports, tourist and business center”, – said Zhukov.
ROC President drew attention to the fact that thanks to the achievements, demonstrated to the world in the framework of preparation for the 2014 Olympic Games, Russia won the right to host major international sporting events such as Formula One Grand Prix, Football and Hockey World Cups. Therefore Russia has become one of the world sports leaders for the period 2013-2018.
“I am sure that this is only the beginning and major sporting events will promote Russia’s sporting interests in the international arena – he stressed. – Sochi experience has shown that it was extremely important to use the best international practices when preparing for major sporting events. During preparations for the Sochi Games Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has actively cooperated with international sports experts, possessing extensive experience from the previous games, and maintained fruitful contact with all sports federations. This successful interaction became a guarantee of success of the Sochi Games and of record series consisting of more than 20 Pre-Olympic Test Competitions”.
Alexander Zhukov drew the attention of participants and guests of the forum to the fact that major sporting events such as the Sochi Olympic Games, leave behind not only material, but also the most important intangible legacy. “This is, first of all, expressed in the development of mass sports in the country and in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, since this is the framework for high performance sport. Before the Sochi Games amendments were made to the Russian educational standards. The number of hours devoted to physical education per week has been increased from 2 to 3.
“Olympic lessons have become a tradition for Russian schools and other educational institutions. Our outstanding athletes take part in those lessons – continued Alexander Zhukov. – A total of more than 100,000 Olympic lessons have been delivered to more than 10 million students during preparations for the Sochi Games. When world and Olympic champion talks about how he came into sport and what was his way to gold medals like, it arouses great interest among children, and it is after such meetings that many of them join sports leagues”.
The ROC President concluded by saying: “This points to the fact that in recent years we have not only built the Olympic capital in Sochi, but also saw about returning the interest of children, youth and the population at large to sports. Another important aspect of the Sochi Games legacy is the creation of staff training infrastructure. Innovative economy not only implies the use of high technology and global best practices. Human capital is the stock of innovations. Establishment and development of the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi was the key project aimed at training the new generation of highly qualified sports managers in Russia”.