Winter Sports Day celebrations in Moscow

On February 10 the Russian Olympic Committee organized Winter Sports Day. Since 2015, this holiday has traditionally taken place throughout the country on the first weekend after the starting date of the 2014 Games in Sochi. This year, the main site in Moscow was Gorky Park.

Winter Sports Day was held with the support of ROC General Sponsor: the global energy company Gazprom, the ROC General Partners: Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot, the official outfitter of the Russian Olympic team ZASPORT, and the ROC partner Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgical Company. The car company partner this time was Toyota. Toyota prepared the extreme sports platform with the thematic photo zone PushtheLimit, where everyone could feel like a snowboarder, overcoming the snow track following the Toyota C-HR.

The celebrations were timed to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the Olympic Games in Sochi and the anniversary of the Games in Pyeongchang. Despite the frosty weather, many winter and summer Olympic champions and winners came to Gorky Park.

During the opening ceremony of this event, ROC President and four-time Olympic champion in fencing Stanislav Pozdnyakov addressed the participants and honorary guests.

– Today, we once again recall the most successful Olympic Games in the history of Russian sports. I am very pleased to once again call the names of our athletes who won awards in Sochi. Winning the team event would have been impossible without their dedicated work and the work of coaches, doctors, organizers and, of course, the fans who gave their support!

Winter Sports Day is one of the most important ROC events within the framework of the Olympic Country program. The sports festival is celebrated throughout the country – from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad. On this day, in every city and town, people try to remember the best victories of national sports and they go in for sports such as skiing, biathlon, ice skating, hockey and figure skating.

Three-time Olympic champion in fencing, President of the Union of Russian Athletes Galina Gorokhova thanked ROC for its hard work in returning Russian sports to the Olympic family.

– I am sure that the Russian Olympic Committee will do everything possible so that we remain full members of the international Olympic movement. Our skiers, freestylers, snowboarders and other winter sports representatives have taken a huge step forward! Just look at their latest results! Keep it up!

Vladimir Lukin, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee, recalled a pleasant event that happened a few days before Winter Sports Day. On February 8, the International Paralympic Committee announced the reinstatement of RPC’s membership in the organization. As of now, it is conditional until March 15, 2019 when this decision will officially come into force.

– Two and a half years of difficulties are over, – said the head of RPC. – Paralympians are beginning to prepare for the Games in Tokyo and Beijing where they will prove that they are winning not at the expense of any manipulations, but through hard work and training.

The most interesting part of the Winter Sports Day was the master classes held where fans could take lessons from the Olympic champions, as well as chat, take pictures or autographs from their idols.

– Thank you to ROC for the opportunity to meet with sports fans, – said Nikita Kryukov, Olympic champion in ski racing. – Feedback is very important. I believe that the master class held by Alexander Legkov was a great gift to the fans. When I recall the 2014 Olympic Games, one thought comes to mind: “It was just like yesterday, although five years have already passed. I can’t believe it!″

Many famous athletes happily shared their memories of the Games in Sochi. Olympic figure skating champion Ekaterina Bobrova was no exception.

– As I watch videos of the Games in Sochi here, I immediately recall my performance. There are so many emotions! For us, athletes, Winter Sports Day is like a class reunion!

– We used to see each other at the end of the year at the Olympians’ Ball, – confirmed Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Margarita Mamun. – Now the main meeting place for Olympians is Winter Sports Day.

On Sunday, Gorky Park became the center for winter sports. The Pushkin Embankment was full of skiers and biathletes: a 100-meter-long track was laid on it, and an interactive shooting range with laser biathlon rifles was in place. Curling, hockey and figure skating workshops were held throughout the day at the ice rink.

All the participants were great at skating and tried very hard, – said Sergei Shakhrai, silver medalist of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, after his open lesson. – I looked at the winter sports stands in the main pavilion with great interest. It’s nice to see that sports federations remember the success of their athletes and glorify them.

The main center of attraction for sports enthusiasts was the Exhibition pavilion where interesting exhibits of winter federations were presented. Visitors could, for example, try on the role of a biathlete and a luger.

– Be active and do sports, – suggested Olympic champion in fencing Sophia Velikaya to the guests of the main pavilion of Winter Sports Day. – All winter disciplines require tremendous endurance and special physical training. We must pay tribute to the people who win medals for our country.

As part of Winter Sports Day, a flash mob of students from the Higher School of Policy in Culture and Management in Humanities from MSU was also held. They worked not only as volunteers at the sports festival, but also performed on the same stage with Juliana Savilova who sang her own song.

The final chapter of the sports festival in Gorky Park was an open hockey training session under the guidance of world champion, two-time Olympic medalist Alexei Yashin.

– Today we paid a lot of attention to the technic. The frosty weather did not come as a surprise to us, we are used to it. In general, I love all sports events, I try to attend them and participate in them, – admitted the famous hockey player.