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    On April 27, Minsk hosted the first joint meeting of representatives of the Athletes’ Commissions of the ROC and NOC Belarus.

    One of the key topics of discussion was the politicization of sports and the violation of the basic rights of athletes in Russia and Belarus on a national basis as part of the recommendations and decisions of international sports organizations and federations to remove athletes from participation in competitions. The Athletes’ Commissions of both NOCs were unanimous in their position on the inadmissibility and illegality of such sanctions and spoke of the need to continue defending the legitimate interests of athletes, including media support and assistance for organizing competitive and training processes in such a way so as to remain highly competitive when returning to the international arena.

    НОК Беларуси

    The head of the Athletes’ Commission of NOC Belarus, Alexander Bogdanovich, focused on the need to address relevant issues related to the training of not only functional athletes, but also the younger generation so that the development of sports in both countries continues with the maximum involvement of the youth.

    Alexander Bogdanovich, Chairman of the Athletes’ Commission of NOC Belarus, Olympic champion:

    – On behalf of our Athletes’ Commission, I want to sincerely thank our Russian colleagues for today’s meeting and for the official visit to Minsk. We speak the same language, we understand each other perfectly, and this gives us confidence that we can do a lot of useful things for our athletes, including young athletes. They need to get competitive practice in order to show results and then develop and improve from that point. Motivation for sport is very important. Athletes must see and understand that they are supported, regardless of external circumstances. We must also contribute to forming the economic component for the preparation and performance of athletes. Belarus and Russia are close and both countries have a very good sports infrastructure for organizing tournaments and events. I’m sure we will succeed.

    Sofya Velikaya, in turn, shared her experience of the work of the ROC Athletes’ Commission in recent years, and also spoke in detail about the Forum of Young Olympians, which is traditionally held by the ROC on June 1, and the extended meeting of the Athletes’ Commission, scheduled for late August-early September. She invited colleagues from Belarus to take part in these events.

    НОК Беларуси

    Sofya Velikaya, Chair of the ROC Athletes’ Commission, two-time Olympic champion:

    – The most important point is that our meeting took place. Right now, for all sports organizations and athletes, it is of great importance to unite efforts and consolidate our joint actions in the current conditions. We are very grateful to our colleagues from the Athletes’ Commission of NOC Belarus for the invitation. It is a great honour for us to come to Minsk and take part in master classes for young athletes, as well as discuss issues that concern us. We have outlined our immediate plans and joint projects in the interests of athletes from both countries. Their motivation, the creation of conditions for further development and the most effective training for us now play a paramount role, and we will build on this in our work. Today’s meeting can be described as introductory, however, we have already started a dialogue on concrete, practical steps for the near future.

    After the meeting Sofya Velikaya as part of a solemn ceremony donated her saber, which she used at the Tokyo Games, to the Olympic Museum of NOC Belarus.

    Then the participants of the meeting, together with the Presidents of the NOCs of both countries, Stanislav Pozdnyakov and Viktor Lukashenko, visited the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, where they laid flowers at the Stella, installed on the occasion of the liberation of Minsk from Nazi invaders.

    НОК Беларуси

    The head of the Russian Olympic Committee signed the Book of Honored Guests, after which the entire Russian Olympic delegation attended master classes for athletes. Yuri Borzakovsky, Alexander Legkov, Lada Zadonskaya, Anastasia Maksimova, Alexei Alipov, Andrey Moiseev, Evgeny Korotyshkin, Stanislava Konstantinova, Alexander Samarin, Sofya Velikaya, and Roman Vlasov shared their skills with young athletes from Belarus, after which at each of the sports arenas, where our Olympic champions and medallists arrived, there was face-to-face communication along with numerous questions, autographs and photo shoots to the delight of all participants.

    Stanislav Pozdnyakov:

    – One of the most important tasks of both the ROC and NOC Belarus is the propaganda and promotion of Olympic values. I’m talking about friendship, respect, and striving for maximum results in fair competitions. Today, as part of the visit of Russian athletes and members of the ROC Athletes’ Commission to Minsk, as well as meetings with colleagues from Belarus, in addition to discussing topical issues of the politicization of sports, master classes were held for young athletes. I saw with what sincere interest and joy hundreds of participants came to talk with the champions and take part in the training session. This once again proves that the athletes of our countries today are most effective when it comes to demonstrating the friendship and solidarity between two fraternal peoples.

    At the same time, all high-level athletes, especially Olympic champions, are role models for the younger generation. And, of course, we are ready to share the opportunities that Russian sport has today with our friends. I would like to emphasize that all Russian Olympians responded wholeheartedly to our proposal to come to Minsk and hold master classes — at such moments the value of our mutual relations becomes even more substantial!

    … On April 28, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, members of the ROC Athletes’ Commission and invited athletes will take part in the National Athletes’ Forum under the auspices of NOC Belarus.


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    Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “The ROC and NOC Belarus have accumulated a lot of practical experience in order to implement the proposed plans”

    As part of the National Athletes Forum in Minsk, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee spoke with media representatives.

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