Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “For many novice athletes, the Children of Asia Games can become a springboard into big sport”

On 9 February in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, an opening ceremony of the 1st Children of Asia International Winter Games will be held at the Spartak stadium with support from the IOC, the Olympic Council of Asia, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Russian Olympic Committee.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov:

Dear friends!

On behalf of the Russian Olympic Committee, I am pleased to welcome the organisers, participants and guests of the 1st Children of Asia Winter International Sports Games.

Apart from the Olympic Games already held in Moscow and Sochi, the Children of Asia Games is the only sporting event in Russia held under the patronage of the IOC and UNESCO. At one time, the Russian Olympic Committee supported, without the slightest doubt, the Children of Asia Games Organising Committee’s request for the patronage of the IOC.

The geography of the debut Children of Asia Winter Games includes 1,200 young athletes from 20 countries, who will compete for medals in 8 sports disciplines — biathlon, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding, figure skating, hockey and short track.

It is very important that for many novice athletes, the Children of Asia Games can become a springboard into big sport. In the past, participants in the Summer Games included 2012 Olympic Games champion judo wrestler Arsen Galstyan, silver medallist of the London Games gymnast Daria Dmitrieva, 2008 bronze medallist boxer Georgy Balakshin and many of our other Olympians.

I am convinced that the winter equivalent of these Games will eventually have its own Olympic history as well.

I have no doubt that the competitions in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk will be held in an uncompromising atmosphere, they will give the athletes the joy of meeting their old friends and making new acquaintances, and that the long-awaited victories will be a well-deserved reward for their work and perseverance.

I wish for all the participants good health, good luck and high sports results!  And to the organisers — to hold this interesting and important sports and cultural event to the highest standard.