The opening ceremony of the Forum was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, First Vice President of the ROC Igor Levitin, President of the ROC Stanislav Pozdnyakov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin, President of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics Irina Viner-Usmanova and other officials.
The deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko spoke about the measures of state support for children’s and youth sport.
– By order of the President, the Government creates all conditions for children to go in for sports. Only this year, within the framework of the federal project “Sport is the norm of life”, another 110 sports and recreation centers, swimming pools, indoor skating rinks and playgrounds will be put into operation. Together with the previously built 52,000 sports facilities, this will create the necessary infrastructure for training. And we can see results. Last year alone, some 10,000 people joined our friendly family of young athletes. And now, about 2 million children are professionally involved in sport, from which new champions will arise. Three-quarters of them are involved in Olympic sports. You should be sure that together we will cope with all the challenges that lie before us. Each of you can achieve success and great achievements. You are the future of Russian and world sports! I wish you all high spirits! Compete with the strongest and have numerous sports breakthroughs. Good luck in all your endeavours!
Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, First Vice-President of the ROC Igor Levitin recalled the glorious traditions of Russian sport.
– The participants of this forum are young Olympians who have chosen a difficult path – professional sport. It is not as simple as it seems because today it is mostly politicized. Today is International Children’s Day and it is a wonderful holiday, but on this day we also have to protect our children and athletes who have chosen this path. The President of the Russian Federation and the Government will do everything so that you are not affected by any problems. This year we are also celebrating the 70th anniversary of Soviet athletes’ participation in the Olympic Games in 1952. We have great traditions, eminent athletes and veterans who expect new victories from the younger generation. I wish you all good luck. Glorify your countries with victories!
The Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin expressed his gratitude to all coaches and specialists who work with young athletes.
– It is symbolic that we are celebrating International Children’s Day in such a wonderful atmosphere under the auspices of the hospitable Irina Viner-Usmanova Rhythmic Gymnastics Center. Today’s Forum brought together friends from different countries, which once again proves that we remain a large Olympic family where everyone is ready to help each other. Organized by the Russian Olympic Committee, the Forum of Young Olympians is a great opportunity for novice athletes to get to know each other, gain new knowledge and realize that being successful in sport means being successful in everyday life. I am sure that our friendly international team will overcome each and every obstacle and become even stronger than before. Thank you to everyone who puts their energy and soul into raising children. Together we will definitely win!
The President of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics and the head coach of the Russian national team in this sport, Irina Viner-Usmanova, in her welcoming speech, emphasized the need for the harmonious development of an athlete as a person.
– Regardless of age, athletes will always remain children for mothers and coaches. If you want to become real Olympians, you need not only to train a lot, but also to develop personally, strive for new knowledge and apply it in practice. To give you this knowledge is one of the main tasks of this Forum. Thanks to the Russian Olympic Committee for organizing this wonderful event. Thanks to the Government of our country for supporting sport by all possible means. I can say with confidence that in no country in the world is so much done for athletes as in Russia. Be strong, healthy and successful!
Ambassador-at-Large, Special Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation for International Sports Cooperation Mikhail Khorev noted the unifying role of sports and the Olympic movement.
– It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the International Forum of Young Olympians, as well as the importance of sport in general. Sport is not only a healthy lifestyle, but also a powerful unifying force. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation considers sports cooperation to be one of the most important areas of foreign policy. The outstanding achievements of our athletes and coaches, on the one hand, form a positive image of Russia as a great sports power and strengthen its authority on the international arena. At the same time, sport and the Olympic movement help to strengthen ties between countries and peoples, bring nations together, promote peace and mutual understanding.
Two-time Olympic champion in fencing, Chair of the ROC Athletes’ Commission Sofya Velikaya emphasized the importance of close communication between beginners and titled athletes.
– The Forum of Young Olympians is an excellent platform for sharing knowledge, searching for new opportunities, strengthening friendly and working contacts between athletes and representatives of different countries. Such events are useful not only for novice athletes, but for the entire Olympic community in terms of promoting the core values of Olympism. Today, decorated athletes will tell young people about their careers, as well as share their experience and knowledge. I hope this will encourage young athletes to continue playing sports and achieving excellent results. I want to say that together we are a sports force and by common effort we will definitely find a way to victory!
RUSADA General Director Veronika Loginova called on young athletes to be open and honest in their dialogue on even the most difficult issues.
– I am very pleased that anti-doping topics are an integral part of the educational program of the Young Olympians Forum. Wrestling on sports grounds should be unbiased and victories should be fair. As part of the Forum, RUSADA, as always, has prepared many interesting and educational events for young athletes. Think of us as a friend and helper. We are ready to share information, explain and clarify any issue and we are always open for communication.
The President of the Russian Olympic Committee, speaking from the stage and later in a conversation with journalists, noted that the agenda of the Forum of Young Olympians has expanded significantly in four years.
– It has already become a good tradition for us to hold the Forum of Young Olympians on International Children’s Day. Initially, the idea of this event was to give young athletes maximum knowledge in the field of anti-doping and thereby warn them against possible mistakes that sometimes end a very successful career. But by the fourth Forum, we have already gone far beyond the scope of a single topic. With the support of the Government and the sports community, within the framework of the Forum, we are trying to develop a proper attitude towards basic Olympic values such as friendship, respect for partners and opponents and the pursuit of excellence. These Olympic postulates, passed down from generation to generation, are especially relevant today, when our athletes are deprived of the opportunity to participate in international competitions. An athlete can be prevented from competing, but it is impossible to take away his motivation to become better and stronger. Those who are now in this hall will form the backbone of the Olympic teams of their countries in the future. You have to compete, strive for maximum results, make the fans happy and make our world brighter. I hope that participation in the Forum of Young Olympians will become a memorable event for each of you, as well as a new impetus for future achievements.
After the official part, the main program of the sports and educational event began. This year it is designed for two days, and the main venue, as in 2021, was the Irina Viner-Usmanova Gymnastics Center.
The Fourth International Forum of Young Olympians gathered a record number of participants. More than 350 young athletes and officials from 71 regions of the Russian Federation, Armenia, Uzbekistan, the Republic of Belarus and China came to Moscow.
The foreign guests viewed the demonstration sites of the Forum with interest and took part in various activities.
Young gymnasts from the Republic of Belarus Ksenia Steshicz and Margarita Timoshenko admitted that they felt almost at home at the Irina Viner-Usmanova Gymnastics Center.
– We are engaged in rhythmic gymnastics and this is not the first time! This is a very interesting experience, as well as an opportunity to meet other athletes and learn something new. We have not yet been told which of the famous athletes will attend the event, but we would very much like to get to know an eminent one.
Four-time biathlon world champion in the Ukrainian and Belarusian national teams Elena Zubrilova noted that novice athletes needed such meetings to strengthen the desire to move forward.
– The Forum of Young Olympians is a very interesting and important project. When I started my career back in the days of the USSR, there was a completely different attitude to sports. Events and educational programs for young athletes were clearly not enough. Young people often need some kind of incentive to do their favorite thing. This Forum gives young people such motivation to the fullest extent.
Gold medallist in 3×3 basketball at the 2019 World Beach Games Daniil Abramovsky noted the excellent organization of the Forum.
– The event is spectacular! Everything is very well organized. Young athletes should be able to communicate with more experienced comrades. After all, at certain stages of a career, everyone faces difficult moments. Personally, I have undergone four surgeries, but my love for sport has always helped me and it will always overcome any doubts. Therefore, I want to give some advice to the younger athletes: if you truly love your sport, you will overcome any difficulties.
Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics Victoria Listunova took part in the Young Olympians Forum for the first time.
– First of all, I would like to thank the Russian Olympic Committee and all the organizers who were able to prepare such a wonderful holiday. To be honest, this is my first time here, but for me, sharing my experience with novice athletes is a great joy and honour.
The main audience of the International Forum of Young Olympians is made up of boys and girls aged 14-18, who make up the nearest reserve of the Olympic teams of their countries, and its main tasks are as follows:
– promoting the development of international humanitarian cooperation in the context of anti-Russian sanctions;
– strengthening the image of the Russian Olympic Committee as an organization that defends the true values of sport and the traditions of the Olympic movement;
– support for young athletes who are illegally deprived of the right to compete in international competitions;
– instilling in young athletes a proper attitude to the values of sport and the Olympic movement, including friendship, respect and the pursuit of excellence not only in sport, but also in life;
– strengthening the motivation of young athletes to adhere to the key principles of clean sport (life without doping) and fair play, maintaining a personal impeccable reputation;
– integration of regional Olympic councils into work with athletes in the above-mentioned and other areas.
As part of the educational program of the Forum, which was implemented with the assistance of the Central Olympic Academy, the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sport, Youth and Tourism and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA, young athletes discussed topical issues such as motivation and overcoming oneself, the importance sport in life, as well as the integration of the educational and the sports sphere.
Well-known Russian Olympic athletes acted as experts: two-time Olympic champion in fencing, Chair of the ROC Athletes’ Commission Sofya Velikaya, two-time Olympic champion in synchronized swimming Vlada Chigireva, silver medallist of the Tokyo Olympic Games in pole vault Anzhelika Sidorova, vice-champion of the Tokyo Olympic Games, swimmer Alexander Krasnykh, bronze medallist of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, biathlete Karim Khalili, and Olympic champion in ski acrobatics (freestyle), participant of six Olympic Winter Games Alla Tsuper (Republic of Belarus).
– If you have a goal and if you know what you want to achieve and how to do it, then no additional motivation is needed. When the Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year, it was not a problem for me, because I knew that I had to keep working to be the best.
– Thanks to sport at school, I had an advantage over my classmates. The teachers were less strict with me than with the other students, they met me halfway due to the fact that at times I would spend time at the swimming pool. I will not hide it: the loyal attitude of the teachers helped me move towards my dream, although a good basic education is also a very important and necessary thing.
– To the question of motivation, I want to add that, first of all, you need to love your job. For example, I love water, music and dancing – all this came together for me in synchronized swimming. If we talk about the postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, that year, many really thought about how to end their careers, including some in our team. The motivation to continue training was that we understood the measure of personal responsibility for each person in our group, for our substitutes, coaches, relatives and friends. Therefore, look for your motivation in the immediate environment and in your love for sport. You will definitely succeed with that!
– In biathlon, athletes have many opportunities to win a medal in one tournament. But it happens that the first race is not successful and you need to pull yourself together and draw conclusions in order to show a different result in the next race. Don’t give up – that’s the most important thing. Then the reward will be indescribable feelings that you experience while standing on the winner’s podium.
The educational block of the Forum also included lectures and discussion platforms where the participants, divided into teams, could learn more about the basic Olympic values such as friendship, respect, fair play and the harmonious development of the individual.
It was possible to check the acquired knowledge and consolidate the information in a playful way within the framework of an intellectual quiz which consisted of 5 rounds. In each of them, the teams had to choose one of the proposed answers to 5 questions within the allotted time.
One of the main events of the Forum was the signing of the Plan of educational activities on anti-doping topics between the Russian Olympic Committee and RUSADA with the participation of ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov and RUSADA General Director Veronika Loginova.
In the section dedicated to anti-doping culture, RUSADA specialists spoke about the main rules and features of the doping control procedure, the rights and obligations of an athlete, the negative consequences of doping, as well as the reputational risks in case of violation of anti-doping rules.
Along with the lecture blocks, the Forum featured technological platforms, including a demonstration Esports platform.
In addition, the Forum participants were able to try out various master classes, test their physical fitness indicators on simulators and high-precision devices of the ROC Innovation Center, and also play mini-golf and Quad Pong. In the evening, guests were treated to an extensive musical program.
On the second day of the Forum (June 2), the participants will go on an excursion to “Patriot Park” located near the city of Kubinka in Moscow region. The territory with a total area of 5,500 hectares has the military-historical complex “Partisan Village”, the Military Tactical Games Center, a museum complex and other permanent exhibitions, as well as the AVANGARD educational and methodological center and the main site of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.