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That Zhukov

3-4 (2010)
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The new head of ROC is responsible for the Russian sportsmen preparation for Olympic starts on the one hand, and, on the other hand — is in charge of the very preparation for the Games.

At the end of March there was an expected personnel revolution. The deputy prime-minister Alexander Zhukov was appointed the new president of the Russian Olympic Committee. Such rank official had never been appointed the head of native sport before. The country's top leadership believes, that Zhukov's appointment will help not only to carry out the Olympic Games in Sochi but also to win it for Russia. But will he be able with his will and power to provide radical changes, which are so essential for the branch?

The most sporty from the officials

Having diss-missed an inactive Tyagachev, who, anyway, didn't suit anybody as a head of his lost authority and power of ROC for the last years, question the government of the country wondered — who will be instead of him? There was needed a figure of absolutly another level. The deputy prime-minister Alexander Zhukov was beyond the comparison. He is, perhaps the sportiest of all the present top political circles representatives. Being always tight and accurate, in top athletic form in his 54 years, Zhukov has been supervising the government sport sector for rather a long time and he likes sport sincerely. He is a master of sports in chess and has been heading of the proper federation; he is also an ardent football admirer — he combines the most relevant sets review with his own participation in amateur and veterans tournaments. And what is much more important, he managed to learn sport life very well.

All controls in one hand

The IOC president Jacques Rogge is satisfied with such «complex approach» of the Russian management. «Zhukov has great authority and influence, he is a real professional, and he knows and likes sports. I think Zhukov's as the ROC president will do good for Russia», — commented Rogge. The sportsmen are pleased: they got tired with uncertainty of who is responsible for what and they hope the new head of ROC will liquidate this. It is obvious, that the Olympic committee will be reorganized for Zhukov, having authorized him with more privileges. The appearance of a powerful and authorized ROC leader must put an end to constant wars for power and control of money flows within sport community.

Carte blanche before Sochi

The Alexander Zhukov's sport development program is not ready yet, but its priorities can be determined from the president's words: «It is necessary to reorganize ROC work in such way, that it would be really effective, that real professionals work in the committee, not previous functionaries, but modern managers. Almost everything will depend on your position here». His main aim Zhukov sees in Sochi Olympic Games successful realization and the victory of Russian sportsmen. He constantly points: The Olympic Games-2012 in London is still not less important task and its preparation shouldn't be eclipsed by Sochi-2014. Nevertheless it is clear: Zhukov has carte blanche for the next four years and no failures in the capital of Great Britain will overshadow Sochi's success two years later. And vice versa. After our loss on the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Dmitry Medvedev had already put a task «for federations and ROC to bring sportsman, his physical form, his health to the foreground Organizational work should be finished to get the updated federations ready for work».

Alexander Zhukov:

About ROC reorganization

— Olympic committee Structure will be changing. We are preparing such proposals now, we will consolidate Staff position, attract the beSt sport specialists.

About sportsmen training conditions

— We must essentially intensify our sportsmen training; provide them with maximum favorable conditions. We muSt work out an individual training program for every our Olympian, talanted sportsmen. That is what we are doing now.

About attracting foreign specialists and technologies into Russian sports

— Nowadays, to win the battles on the top level, it is necessary to use the lateSt Sports Science and medicine achievements in the world. And we will be using other countries experience in preparation for the Olympics. We will also attract the best trainers.

About chances to win in Sochi

— We are able to win the medal event in Sochi. We need to get 14 firSt places. It doesn't seem impossible to me. 14 gold medals in the motherland — is very high but achievable factor, which will allow us to pretend for the firSt place in total event.

The file

Alexander Zhukov was born on the 1- ofJuly 1956 in Moscow. In 1978 he graduated from the faculty of economics at MSU. In 1991 he got Harvard University Diploma. From 1994 to 2004 — he is the RF &ate duma deputy. From the 9-th of March 2004 — the RF deputy prime-minister. Master of chess sport, from 2003 to 2009 — the president of Russian chess federation. The chairman of ANO «Sochi-2014» directors board. Was awarded the «Order of Merit for the Motherland» of the IV degree and Order of Honor. From the 20-th of May 2010 — Russian Olympic Committee President.

«Zhukov is personally responsible for the result»

Alexander Ratner, the assistant to ROC secretary general:

— Today ROC participates neither in a problem of preparation for the Olympic Games, nor in a problem of worthy sportsmen performance. That's why we need Zhukov. On the one hand, he the chairman of the Supervisory board of Organizing committee «Sochi-2014», so, he is familiar with the Olympic theme. On the other hand, as the curator of social sphere he is informed of the work spent by the Ministry of sports. Now, under the Zhukov's authority there is also a third element — ROC, which carries out more likely representative function. It is quite probable, that with the advent of Zhukov, distribution of forces and means in this triangle will be reconsidered. As a matter of fact, he will bear personal responsibility before the president and the government for the Olympic Games in Sochi were organised well and Russian sportsmen were worthy prepared.

«An order will always beat a class»

Sergey Kushchenko, the chief executive of the Russian Biathlon Union:

— Vancouver is over, predicted lightnings went out, but there is a feeling. that all remain in their places, like in a fable about a swan, a crawfish and a pike. If to speak about structural questions, each swan and crawfish, that is departments, has to be assigned its role and area of responsibility. But who should do it? An order will always beat a class. But who will establish this order? If we do not understand — we will put the blame on each other after London and Sochi: «It is not me, it is ministry. Or ROC. Or federations …» Though everybody has to work for one aim — medals. Alexander Zhukov is capable to change organization work cardinally. He can estimate a situation from within and organize the differentiation of duties and responsibility. Experience, organising abilities, common sense and vice-premier priveleges will help him.

«The main thing is to be a cool manage»

Valery Sysoyev, the vice-president of the All-Russian summer Olympic kinds of sports association: — Alexander Zhukov is the respected person with great authorities and there is nothing bad in his appointment. But I'm worried by a question: who will drill a well? Zhukov is not the borer after all, he is the chief of branch! A pro should drill. Russia is one of few countries spending huge budget money on sports. But it turns out so, that these expenses are ineffective. We pay for the work depreciated from the point of view of its quality. The life makes us to build sports business model with clear split into politicians, managers, which are few in Russia, trainers, sportsmen. To supervise over all this should person, able to listen to other people, to delegate the rights, to take opinions of professionals, not to close all on himself, to trust experts. He should know and love sports, but to be, first of all, a cool manager.

«We can find ourselves in a bigger hole»

Svetlana Boyko, the Olympic fencing champion: — There can't be great victories without medical support. And what the domestic pharmacology can offer us today? Yes, practically nothing. It is ridiculous: we come to a national team, and doctors give us multivitamins and cotton disks for skin clearing: «Eat vitamin, clear the face and go win an Olympic medal». It turns out, that either the sportsman puts up wit the 10-12th place, or starts to experiment medicine independently, risking to get caught on the dope control… Will Zhukov's appointment help to change something? It is difficult to say. We, sportsmen, are the people far from politicians. I can tell only, that what is happening in domestic sports today can drive us in such a hole, that the results of Beijing and Vancouver will seem quite worthy.

«To assign fair, competent people»

Armenak Gaybaryan, the head coach of national South Federal region team on free-style wrestling: — As it seems to me, the top management has assigned a figure of such scale as the head of ROC with one purpose — to frighten shameless officials. ROC and federations dispose of huge budgets, and the trainers, who have prepared Olympic champions for the country, have the salary — 10-12 thousand roubles. We cannot send all perspective children on competitions, because there are not enough seats in the bus… I sincerely hope, that Zhukov will manage to put things in order in our sports economy. He is quite capable of assigning fair, competent experts to the key posts, clearing sports of unnecessary people and providing enactment of the necessary laws for its development. The most important thing is, that he is a strong, independent, respectable figure, who has nothing to be afraid of.

«His figure does not cause hostility»

Evgeny Fedyakov, an observer of the newspaper «Sport-Express»:

— Alexander Zhukov is not only the most intelligent representative of the higher echelons of power well familiar with problems of big sports, but also a figure, who does not cause hostility at representatives of present sports beau monde, divided de facto into two camps — sympathising with the present minister Vitaly Mutko and the former minister Vyacheslav Fetisov. On the threshold of the scale project «Sochi-2014», the country leaders are interested in consolidation of efforts on Olympic fronts. In the given consolidation, is, most likely, the main sense of the Zhukov's invitation to a post of ROC president. And this post looks considerably representative. In present conditions, when the state has taken upon it the financing of big sports, the power in it belongs to the ministry in fact.


Author: Sergey Semyonov