Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “We got lucky with the main venue chosen for All-Russian Walking Day 2020”

On Saturday, October 3, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee visited Novorossiysk where he took an active part in festive events dedicated to the 6th All-Russian Walking Day.

The choice in favour of Novorossiysk as the main venue for the holiday was fully justified. By the beginning of the opening ceremony, which took place on the Cape of Love accompanied with sunny, warm weather, several thousand Novorossiysk residents and guests of the city had gathered near the improvised stage. Four-time Olympic champion Stanislav Pozdnyakov and other prominent Olympians were welcomed with applause and a standing ovation.

– The weather is excellent today and the whole country – from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad – is celebrating this wonderful festive holiday for the sixth time, – said the head of the ROC. – This year All-Russian Walking Day is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Great Victory and the fact that we are here today is no coincidence. Novorossiysk is a Hero City and a place of military glory. The feats of the Black Sea sailors carried out in 1941-1945 will forever remain in the history of the Great Patriotic War.

Thanks to our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, we live under a peaceful sky and have the opportunity to engage in physical culture and sport. I would like to thank the leadership of Krasnodar Krai, the Mayor’s Office of Novorossiysk, the President of the Russian Handball Federation and my friend Sergey Shishkarev, as well as all the Olympians and volunteers for assistance in organizing and preparing the main venue for this festive holiday. I declare the 6th All-Russian Walking Day officially open!

Having descended from the stage, Stanislav Pozdnyakov spoke to journalists.

– The Olympic movement is going through difficult times, – said Stanislav Pozdnyakov. – Many competitions have been cancelled and international sports federations have had to revise their calendars owing to the global pandemic. Nevertheless, even in such conditions, we continue to move forward and strive to lead an active lifestyle. Today’s festive holiday is yet another testament to this. I fully agree with IOC President Thomas Bach that sooner or later all difficulties shall be behind us. The head of the International Olympic Committee recently reiterated that the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year would definitely take place, and that would be our common victory over the coronavirus pandemic, – added the head of the ROC.

After answering questions from media representatives, the President of the ROC joined a large column of people at the starting line of the 2020-metre Olympic route.

The participants walked together along the Novorossiysk embankment from the Cape of Love to Forum Square, thereby expressing support for athletes of the Russian Olympic team who are proactively preparing for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games.

This was definitely one of those times when a sporting event has no winners or losers. All participants of All-Russian Walking Day who reached the finish line received Olympic golden medals made from chocolate and ROC diplomas.

– Now you are a five-time Olympic champion, – the host of the opening ceremony, popular TV commentator Dmitry Guberniev joked when he saw the head of the ROC wearing a chocolate medal.

– Each step can be called a training load, which sooner or later will lead to victory. I see that the distance of 2020 metres was too short for the sportive residents of Krasnodar Krai. We will increase it! The Olympic Games in Beijing and Paris are ahead as we look forward, – said Stanislav Pozdnyakov with a smile. Afterwards, he went on to inspect various venues where one could play curling and table football, shoot from a rifle at biathlon targets, as well as take part in the sports and educational game ‘Walking Quest.’

All-Russian Walking Day 2020 in Novorossiysk lasted until late evening and, undoubtedly, became a landmark event for the Hero City.