Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “Walking Day will help us win the bid to host the TAFISA World Games”

The President of the Russian Olympic Committee took part in All-Russian Walking Day in the capital of the Udmurt Republic and, together with the residents of Izhevsk and guests of the capital city, covered a distance of 2020 meters dedicated to Russian athletes set to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.

– All-Russian Walking Day is being celebrated in 50 regions, with celebrations taking place from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, however, Izhevsk was chosen as the central venue, – said Stanislav Pozdnyakov. – This is my first visit to the city and I am grateful to the leadership of the Udmurt Republic for such a warm welcome and the excellent organization of the holiday. The Olympic Games will be a major event for the whole country. Therefore, it was decided to cover a distance of 2020 meters in honor of the Olympians, who will soon go to the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Today we supported all athletes who are earning qualification points and Olympic licenses at various tournaments. Our track-and-field athletes stand out in particularly difficult conditions, having won two gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha. What is more, a participant of the festival Vasily Mizinov covered a distance 10 times more than us in the thirty degrees heat! That is why, I propose to dedicate Walking Day 2019 to track-and-field athletics, as well as to all our Olympians set to compete in Tokyo.

By the way, as we covered the distance, I managed to hold talks with the head of the Udmurt Republic, Alexander Brechalov. Such meetings are more effective than meetings held in offices. It is much easier to discuss the development of physical culture and sports being at the very center of such events.

– What else is being done by the ROC to prepare for the 2020 Games?

– I cannot reveal everything, but next year will be quite hectic. One of the central events in preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Games in Moscow, which will take place on July 4 at the Luzhniki Sports Complex. Participants of the Moscow Games, Olympic movement representatives and IOC President Thomas Bach have all been invited to take part in the festive celebrations.

– How important is it to organize events like All-Russian Walking Day?

– The ROC does not only focus on the Olympic Games and multi-sports competitions. We pay special attention to the development of mass sports, conduct various events and promote a healthy lifestyle, thereby encouraging citizens to go in for sports. For example, we organize projects such as Olympic Patrol, All-Russian Olympic Day, and Winter Sports Day.

Today Izhevsk has become the Olympic capital of Russia for one day. More than 15,000 people took part in Walking Day and the atmosphere here was one of a real sports festival. Such a number of sports enthusiasts motivates us to continue our work and come to regions where mass sports are loved and developed.

– Will the success of Walking Day affect the procedure of choosing the host city for the TAFISA World Games?

– In November, the congress of TAFISA will consider and review the Russian Olympic Committee’s bid to host the TAFISA World Games in 2024. Walking Day, which has taken place all over the country today, is an indicator that Russians prefer to lead a healthy lifestyle and engage in physical activities. This of course will play a role in helping us win the bid and hold the Games in Nizhny Novgorod.