– Good afternoon, dear colleagues!
Before turning to the main agenda, I would like to thank you – all the members of the ROC, members of the Executive Committee, commissions and public entities, the staff of our organisation and representatives of the sports industry – for your hard, professional and responsible work in the past year.
Special thanks to our patrons, sponsors and partner organisations – Global Energy Company Gazprom, the national airline – Aeroflot, NorNickel and of course the official outfitter ZASPORT.
The highlight for our entire Olympic family since the previous Olympic Games has undoubtedly been the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo.
Many doubted that it would be possible to conduct them at all under such challenging conditions for all mankind. But they did! Thanks to the enormous efforts of thousands of people, sport has once again played an important unifying role.
For more details on the outcome of the main start of the quadrennium in Japan, our Director of Sport is reporting today. I’m just focusing on the general points.
333 Russian athletes from 52 regions of the Russian Federation took part in the competition. A total of 128 people returned from Tokyo with awards. That is, almost 40 per cent of the total number of participants.
This is despite the fact that the training and performance conditions were, as you know, extraordinary. Suffice it to recall that the process of preparing for the Games-2020 stretched for five years instead of the usual four, it was completely changed not only the schedule of the competitions, but the entire process of preparing athletes.
All the more valuable each Olympic medal won. Successful performance of the ROC team in Tokyo was the result of joint, complex work of athletes, coaches, sports federations, Russian Olympic Committee, Ministry of Sports, FMBA, Olympic Support Fund, and other organizations and departments.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again sincerely thank the leaders of the summer federations, many of whom are here with us now, for taking maximum responsibility in following the established rules and regulations of the IOC and the 2020 Games Organising Committee, as well as for strictly following our recommendations on the observance of anti-covid protocols.
Despite the forcedly modified name, Team ROC, no one in Tokyo or around the world was in any doubt as to which country the team represented.
The elements of the tricolour on the ROC flag and the musical accompaniment of composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky could not be a substitute for the symbols of Russian statehood. But they gave a clear and unambiguous signal of who we are and where we come from.
We have also had to deal with a number of non-trivial tasks related to the implementation of the CAS decisions following the WADA trial against RUSADA. Some of our foreign “partners” in the first half of the year insisted on unjustifiably but excessively restricting the Russian teams at the world championships in terms of the use of symbols and musical accompaniment.
Thanks to the clear, well-thought-out position of the ROC’s lawyers and the legal experts we attracted, we were able to solve all these problems in pre-trial proceedings, fully defending the legitimate interests of our athletes and federations.
Overall, I would like to emphasise that the Russian Olympic Committee and all those who helped us have managed to do the most important thing – to ensure that the Olympians perform without any additional conditions or criteria. This is the most important, key aspect.
Thanks to this, Russia was represented at the Games in Tokyo with the full composition of the Olympic team.
Unfortunately, the conditions of the pandemic did not allow us to fully implement the activities to support our Team during the Games. In Tokyo there were no spectators in the stands, we had to cancel such projects as the Fan House in Tokyo and the Tokyo 2020 Fan Zone in Moscow.
Nevertheless, our Olympians were not left without support. In their homeland, the whole country was really supporting them. And upon their return, they were honored on Red Square as national heroes. Which they really are.
The President’s sincere, very personal attention to our athletes cannot be missed. Vladimir Putin met with the team twice – on the eve of the Games and then, after Tokyo, already at the state awards ceremony in the Kremlin.
One can also remember the solemn ceremony that took place on September 11 in the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin. When the Olympians were congratulated by Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Olympic Support Fund. Champions and medalists received cars from the Olympic Support Fund.
Special thanks to Igor Levitin, Chairman of the Presidium of the Foundation, members of the Board of Directors, Alexander Alexandrovich Katushev, Director of the Foundation, and, of course, to the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.
Such moments are always remembered and remain in the history of our country and national sport!
The Tokyo Olympics are over, but the work of the ROC continues. I would like to elaborate a little bit more on such an important aspect as international activities.
Recently we have made significant progress in the level of trust, openness and effective interaction not only between managers, but also between working structures (including the IOC and international sports federations). Undoubtedly, this is a cause for optimism in terms of prospects for further mutually beneficial cooperation.
At the Russia – Country of Sports International Forum and at the World and European Championships held in Moscow – colleagues invariably note the highest level of organisation of sporting events in Russia.
The ROC’s efforts to strengthen the unity and solidarity of the Olympic family are also fully supported. Such assessments are certainly important. This is yet another confirmation that we are moving in the right direction and that the results of our work are not overlooked.
The Russian Olympic Committee is expanding the geography of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with foreign NOCs.
The work of the International Committee of the Children of Asia Games is progressively and dynamically developing, the practical transformation of the now traditional NOC Forum of the Baltic States and Georgia is gaining momentum.
Foreign colleagues are keen to learn about approaches to the organisation of the final stage of training, and are studying the experience of Siberia and the Far East regions of Russia.
Among other events on the international agenda, a landmark event has already been the Young Olympians Forum, which we hold annually on Children’s Day, 1 June, in Moscow with the support of the IOC Olympic Solidarity, WADA, and with the participation of subject matter experts from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).
Given the current restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, we have supplemented the event format with online studios featuring international experts, renowned Russian Olympic athletes, sports leaders and leaders of the Olympic movement.
Such projects are prioritised in the context of fostering a sustainable anti-doping culture, a young generation of athletes with the right values and moral compass.
The highlight of the year 2021 was the ANOC XXV General Assembly, which was attended by more than 150 National Olympic Committees. For the first time in two years, the leaders of world sports gathered together to discuss pressing problems and challenges, development plans, and to listen to the reports of specialised commissions.
I was particularly pleased, as Chairman of the ANOC Commission on Culture and Education, to report to the Assembly that, despite the pandemic, we have been able to continue our productive cooperation in key areas. Implementing Olympic education programmes is no exception.
It is no secret that the ROC is expanding the international funding of the all-Russian sports federations themselves. We actively support the conduct of ICO events in Russia.
Among the successful events supported by the ROC in 2021 I would like to mention: the elective Congress of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF) in Moscow, the reporting and re-election Congress of the European Confederation of Modern Pentathlon (ECMP) in Nizhny Novgorod, the elective Congress of the European Fencing Confederation in Sochi, the draw of the beach volleyball male and female teams for the XXXII Olympics.
In early September, the Monitoring Team of the Council of Europe Convention against Doping in Sport visited Russia. Colleagues were genuinely impressed with the ROC’s programme to train All-Russian Sport Federation Anti-Doping Coordinators (based at RIOU) and the funding of the OSF’s expenses for their salaries.
The Panel found this project to be one of the best examples in terms of NOC involvement in anti-doping activities.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries have closed their borders to foreign nationals and the participation of Russian athletes in many international tournaments has been called into question. The ROC, in cooperation with the NOCs of foreign countries, has promptly defined an algorithm and on an ongoing basis assists the federations with visa issues (fencing, judo, sailing, pentathlon and rowing) as well as with special permits for Russians to enter a number of countries to participate in sports events.
With the suspension of US consular offices in the Russian Federation, Russian sports delegations planning to participate in sports events in the US have faced the problem of being unable to obtain visas for that country. In particular, this also affected the competitions announced as qualifying for the Games in Beijing.
The ROC, together with the US NOPC, has worked out and agreed upon a procedure for processing US visas in third countries (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Poland and Uzbekistan). Such a procedure has become an exception to the procedure for issuing US visas for Russian citizens and is valid only for sports delegations when executing a set of documents as part of cooperation between ROC and the US NOPC.
As part of this procedure, 102 members of Russian sporting delegations in 6 sports received US visas on time. Given that flying to third countries to obtain US visas leads to unbudgeted costs for the all-Russian sports federations, a procedure for reimbursing such costs to the federations has been approved. Spending on behalf of athletes!
As for the ROC Athletes’ Commission, after a partial renewal of its membership, they are actively increasing the amount of meaningful interaction with colleagues from international and national sports organisations in the interests of all Russian sport.
Our representatives regularly participate in a variety of international events, both online and in person (X International IOC Athletes Forum in May 2021).
Athletes’ Commissions are playing an increasingly prominent, crucial role in a multitude of domestic and international sporting processes. From the IOC Athletes’ Commission to the Athletes’ Commissions in individual National Sports Federations.
We know that some of you are still in the process of setting up your Athletes’ Commissions – we are ready to assist you in this crucial matter.
The ROC works closely with the All-Russian Sport Federation to develop unified approaches to the selection of candidates, training and promotion of Russian representatives in international sports organisations. We provide financial and practical assistance to the federations in these matters. The result of this work is the consistent strengthening of our representation in the governing, working and technical bodies of international sports organisations in 2021.
As a result of the European Athletes’ Assembly in Dubrovnik and the EOC Seminar in Shamorin in October-November 2021, five Russians were included in the EOC working bodies, including the Athletes’ Commission of the organisation.
In order to train qualified personnel for the sports industry, ROC, jointly with leading educational institutions, implements a range of specialised educational programmes.
For Russia’s representatives in international sports organisations, as well as candidates for nomination to international bodies, in 2021 educational activities under professional retraining and professional development programmes will continue to be implemented at MGIMO MFA based on a trilateral cooperation agreement between ROC, the Russian Olympians Support Foundation and MGIMO MFA of Russia.
The programmes are aimed at developing and improving the competencies needed to successfully promote the interests of national sport in the international cooperation arena.
– Professional retraining programme “World Sport: Legal Regulation, Positioning, Communication”;
– Professional Development Programme “Professional Communication in a Global Sports Environment (English for Beginners)”;
– Professional Development Programme “Professional Communication in a Global Sports Environment (English for Beginners)”.
In addition, since 2021 the Russian International Olympic University has been running a refresher course on ‘Organising and Optimising the International Activities of an All-Russian Sports Federation’ at the request of the ROC.
One of the ROC’s priorities in preparing to participate in any International Integrated Sports Event is to develop and reinforce a proper anti-doping culture in athletes and their entourage.
To meet your needs in this area, the ROC, together with RUSADA, regularly holds seminars on key areas of anti-doping for specialists responsible for anti-doping work in all-Russian sports federations. This year already eight such seminars were organised on the basis of RIOU.
A video course on topical issues in preventing and combating doping has been implemented and regularly updated for representatives of Regional Olympic Councils and Regional Sports Federations since spring 2021.
Of course, the ROC’s educational activities are not limited to anti-doping activities, the purity of sport and zero tolerance for negative phenomena in sport for athletes and their environment.
We continue to implement educational projects aimed at continually improving the professionalism of your representatives of all-Russian sports federations and regional Olympic councils.
Every year the ROC implements more than 20 additional training programmes aimed at sports managers, managers and staff of sports organisations, sports schools, non-profit sports clubs, sports facilities and competition organising committees.
In addition to the courses for grassroots coaches, the Coaches Education Project (CEP) has been launched and successfully implemented and justifiably enjoys a high level of interest from the management of a significant number of all-Russian sports federations.
Over the past three years, 260 top-level coaches have already been trained as part of Olympic education programmes (a remarkable 12 of them are foreign specialists), representing nine sports: speed skating, short track, cross country skiing, swimming, athletics, rowing, weightlifting, figure skating, rowing slalom.
The popularity of CEP indicates its development into an already independent educational project. At the request of the Russian Biathlon Union, already outside the so-called Olympic education programme, a training course was implemented in Sochi for 44 leading biathlon coaches, and in November we held a similar course at the request of WFLA for 24 leading track and field coaches.
In the past year, we also faced ambitious tasks in the field of mass sports. As you know, the ROC is implementing several diverse projects in this area.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Winter Sports Day was held in a truncated format. The All-Russian Olympic Day also took place without the main venue, but it was still quite massive – nearly half a million people took part in the events.
The All-Russian Walking Day covered 54 regions and more than 152 thousand athletes, sports enthusiasts and supporters of a healthy lifestyle. The central venue this time was very well organised in Ufa. For which the leadership of Bashkortostan has a special word of appreciation.
Famous Olympians met with schoolchildren from Moscow, Anapa and Sochi within the framework of the Olympic Patrol sports and educational project. This month Olympic Patrol should also visit Tver and Yaroslavl.
We consider this part of our agenda to be essential. The objectives of promoting the Olympic movement and supporting our athletes are fully in line with the goals we set for mass public sporting events.
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will open in Beijing on 4 February 2022.
And tomorrow, on 10 December, ZASPORT, the official outfitter of the Russian Olympic team, will present the Beijing 2022 Olympic outfitting collection.
Given the Tokyo experience, it was much easier for us to work through the individual points of contention arising from the CAS decision. But the amount and scope of work that has already been done and is being done, even now, in these very moments, is truly immense.
The closer it gets to February 2022, the greater the number of applications from federations for funding for Beijing 2022 activities. This includes the organisation of training camps, payment for sports equipment and supplies, the services of foreign specialists, air travel expenses (and obtaining US visas for participation in qualifying starts, resolving disputes and non-standard situations in cooperation with the IOC, the International Sport Federation, lawyers and experts in a wide range of fields). And that’s not all aspects of the preparations for the Olympic winter sports scene, which is the start of the quadrennium.
At the beginning of November, at a meeting of the Headquarters for the Supervision of Preparation of National Sports Teams for the Olympic Games 2022, we, together with the Ministry of Sport, the federations and representatives of the agencies involved, reviewed the applications and have already started their implementation.
A list of candidate athletes for the Russian Olympic team to participate in the Games in China has been approved. It is planned that 216 Russian athletes will perform in China, and the total delegation will consist of about 450 people.
Our team has both experienced athletes and younger medal contenders coming up to this start.
The overall priority now is to ensure that they are fully equipped to reach their peak form, reach their potential and realise it to the maximum at the Olympics.
Obviously, conditions in China will be predictably more difficult than in Tokyo. Given the practice of severe restriction and control of the spread of coronavirus infection, as well as other factors.
That is why we are preparing for the Games both in terms of sports and in terms of information, diplomatic and legal support, in close cooperation with our colleagues and partners. This approach has already become a consistent standard in our work.
I am confident that by using the accumulated experience and coordinating our efforts, we will be able to provide our athletes with all the necessary conditions for a successful performance at the Beijing Games – by coordinated implementation of all the items of the training programme together with the Federations, Ministry of Sport, Federal Medical and Biological Agency and other organisations and agencies.
In conclusion, any crisis is a time of opportunity. And I believe that we have used these opportunities more than effectively in overcoming all the challenges that we have all had to face in 2021.