Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “Winter Sports Day motivates people to lead an active lifestyle”

On February 8-9, Russia celebrated Winter Sports Day, dedicated to the anniversary of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. This sports festival is one of the key events of the ROC in terms of promoting the development of mass sports as part of the Olympic Country programme. It was held in almost all the regions across the country with the city of Voronezh becoming the main venue.

The programme of Winter Sports Day was officially opened in Voronezh by the President of the Russian Olympic Committee, four-time Olympic champion Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the Governor of Voronezh Region Alexander Gusev and the Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Sergey Kosilov.

– It is important that the regional authorities support the initiatives of the Russian Olympic Committee to hold mass sports and Olympic events, – said Stanislav Pozdnyakov. – Residents of Voronezh and other cities will be able to take part in master classes organized by the All-Russia sports federations, and they will see athletes who glorify our country at the Olympic Games. Winter Sports Day motivates the younger generation and adults to lead an active lifestyle.

Mass sports and high achievement sport (Olympic sport) are closely connected to each other. We can recall our outstanding Olympians who triumphed at the Olympic Games in Sochi and to whom Winter Sports Day is dedicated! Many of them began their careers with amateur competitions. It should also be noted that two weeks ago the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games came to an end and our athletes for the very first time in history took first place in the unofficial medal standings, – added the head of the ROC.

The Governor of Voronezh Region Alexander Gusev thanked Stanislav Pozdnyakov for the opportunity given to Voronezh making it the central venue of Winter Sports Day 2020.

– We are trying to create conditions for participating in sports in the entire region. It is important for us that sports fields and skating rinks are not deserted. For this purpose, 400 physical education instructors will work with young people and adults outside school hours. I hope this programme will be worthwhile. A healthy lifestyle should become a top priority for Voronezh.

Famous athletes from Voronezh attending the festival as honored guests also had a few things to say.

Two-time Olympic champion, world champion and European champion in diving Dmitry Sautin was cited as saying:

– In our city, mass sports events are extremely rare. I can recall, perhaps, only the 2014 Olympic torch relay where I was the torchbearer. It is great that the residents of Voronezh have the opportunity to get acquainted with Olympians and discover the world of winter sports!

I like numerous winter disciplines, especially figure skating, freestyle and hockey, which I regularly played in my childhood. It used to be very difficult to find a good skating rink, but now there are so many options.

Elena Tkach, world champion and medalist of the European shooting championships:

– After such events, people begin to actively support athletes and follow our performances. I am glad that today entire families came to Lenin Square.

Bobsledder Dmitry Stepushkin, European champion, medalist of the world championships and winner of the World Cup:

– This year Winter Sports Day was held on a large-scale. Residents of Voronezh are fond of an active lifestyle. There are fewer winter sports than summer ones, and many do not even know, for example, what curling or bobsleigh is. When I first came to the athletics class, I also did not know anything about the discipline that I would be engaging in. Such events help broaden your horizon and allow you to discover new things. After Winter Sports Day, I would like to see young people who want to succeed in bobsleigh. Moreover, Voronezh has the relevant sports facilities.

Irina Makogonova, Olympic champion in volleyball:

– Winter Sports Day was held on a large-scale for the very first time in Voronezh. I am glad that the older generation took part. The older generation should set an example for the younger generation to lead a healthy lifestyle. Sport will always be in fashion. For example, since childhood, I have loved winter sports in the fresh air: skating, sledding and skiing.

A rich programme awaited the residents of Voronezh on Saturday. In the early morning at the Olympic stadium, a cross-country race was held in support of the Russian Olympic team set to participate in the 2020 Games in Tokyo. The race was kicked-off by famous sports commentator Dmitry Guberniev.

Perhaps the most anticipated events were master classes organized by the Olympic champion of Sochi Adelina Sotnikova, medalist of the world and European figure skating championships Maxim Kovtun, and world curling champion Anastasia Bryzgalova.

– I am happy that Winter Sports Day is taking place all over the country. As far as curling is concerned, it is extremely important to expand the geography of the game and increase the number of regions where our discipline is practiced. I was pleasantly surprised that so many young athletes know how to sweep the ice and curl rocks towards the target area. I thought that the theoretical part of the workshop would be quite long, however, we quickly switched to practice, – admitted Anastasia Bryzgalova.

Right before, Adelina Sotnikova took part in an Olympic lesson and a master class for students of the Voronezh Olympic reserve school No. 24 organized as part of the Olympic Patrol project. At the main ice rink of the city, she was due to conduct another lesson for young figure skating fans.

It is very pleasant that so many people came to the figure skating master class in Voronezh, particularly very young sports fans. Everyone made their best effort and it was quite interesting. I am always ready to share my experience and knowledge! I am grateful to the Russian Olympic Committee for the invitation to Winter Sports Day, this is a great sports festival where people can try out various sports for several hours, chat with famous athletes and, of course, remember the most successful Olympic Games in Sochi, – noted the famous skater.

In addition to master classes, curling and speed skating competitions were held on all venues, as well as a hockey gala match. Numerous participants went in for surfing, darts, relay races and biathlon. Those who exceled in the anti-doping quiz and the knowledge quest on the history of the Olympic movement were presented with diplomas and memorable gifts from the Russian Olympic Committee.

Throughout the day, the field kitchen, tubing mountain and the themed photo zone were in operation where everyone could get acquainted with the mascots of the Russian Olympic team, as well as take pictures with the 2014 Olympic Games relay torch.

The President of the Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation Elena Anikina used this wonderful opportunity in Voronezh to meet with representatives of the regional sports federations.

– I have long wanted to visit the Voronezh Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, so I decided to mingle work with leisure on this trip. For Winter Sports Day, we brought a very real bobsleigh that turned out to be the center of attraction for sports fans, – said Elena Anikina.

The programme ended with an ice show with the participation of three-time medalist of the European Figure Skating Championships Maxim Kovtun.

Traditionally, Winter Sports Day was supported by the General sponsor of the ROC – global energy company Gazprom, the General partners of the ROC – Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot and the official outfitter of the Russian Olympic team ZASPORT, and the Partner of the ROC – mining and metallurgical company Nornickel.