ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov and IOC member Shamil Tarpishchev took part in the ceremony to award the gold medal of the XXIX Summer Olympic Games 2008 to Russian freestyle wrestler Bakhtiyar Akhmedov. The medal finally came to the wrestler following a procedure initiated by IOC to reallocate the medals of the 2008 Olympic Games.
The event was held in Moscow as part of the international freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling tournament ″Ivan Yarygin Absolute Cup – ALROSA Cup”.
″This is a very exciting event for all sports fans,″ noted Stanislav Pozdnyakov. ″After 10 years justice is restored. In 2008, Bakhtiyar and I were members of the same Olympic team, so I am especially pleased to congratulate him. Now the anthem of Russia will be played, and the name of Akhmedov will be inscribed in gold letters in the history of Russian sports″.
″The results of our wrestlers remain consistently high,″ he continued. ″During the latest World Cup, they won 10 gold medals. At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro our wrestlers won 9 medals, including 4 gold ones. I am sure that in 2020 representatives of Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling will show the best results″.
The Olympic gold medal was presented to Bakhtiyar Akhmedov by IOC member and President of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev.
″This award is the most important one in the life of any athlete. The Olympic champion can never be a former champion, this is for life. Akhmedov’s medal belongs to all of Russia,″ he said.
The wrestler himself dedicated his victory to Suleiman Kerimov who, according to him, did his best to prepare the Olympic freestyle wrestling team for the 2008 Olympics.
″This is the most special day in my life! I want to thank the fans, it is for them that we go in for sports,″ said Bakhtiyar Akhmedov, who retired in 2012. ″When I was 6 years old, I promised my father that sooner or later I would win the Olympic gold medal. Now I want him to wear it″.
″I was never proud of the silver medal I got in Beijing. During 10 years, I have never even held it in my hands! I will treat the gold medal differently,″ he added.