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Speculations on the Olympic Games Failure in Sochi seem strange

3 (2009)
Viewed: 2086

Leonid Tyagachev, the president of Olympic Committee of Russia, is convinced that despite the crisis manifestations of different years Russia has chances to take the first place among teams in the XXII Winter Olympic Games.

— During his scheduled visit to Sochi Mr. Jean-Claude Killy, the president of the coordinating committee, said: “There is so much energy being put into the Olympic project 2014. The Organization Committee, all the organizations and people participating in it are professionals.” And meanwhile Austria and South Korea are still hoping to “take away” the Games from Russia because the construction works in our country are being done at a slower pace than it had been planned. What are the chances of Salzburg or Pyeongchang to receive the Games? Or their declarations are mere politics?

— This situation can be seen in two ways. All the works in Sochi are being done according to the plan. Mr Jean-Claude Killy and other members of the International Olympic Committee are satisfied with the pace the works progress. Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia, controls the situation. There is absolutely no reason for alarm; and all speculations on whether we are able to prepare worthy Olympic Games or not are strange. However, if someone finds it reasonable to secure Sochi in receiving the Games it’s their business and there is nothing to dispute about. Also it’s important to understand that such speculations arise during preparation for the Games almost always. Even Vancouver could not avoid it, and in the Athens there was a force majeure and even Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee (MOK), expressed his concerns about it, although in terms of organization the Olympic Games in Greece were held faultless.

— The fact that Russia has won the right to hold the XXII Winter Olympic Games is a huge achievement. Yet the country hosting the Games should not only carry them out properly in the aspect of organization but also do the utmost to win the first place among teams. Is Russia strong enough to do it? What does it take to achieve it?

— There are complex processes happening in the international sports. Everybody wants to win, it becomes a matter of politics. Many countries invest huge resources into the preparations for the Olympic Games…Russia has gone through quite diffi cult times: the USSR collapse, lack of money for a long time, fewer possibilities to involve reserves and to prepare young generation… Right now we can witness the shift of generations, for example in figure skating where the renowned veterans left and the young are still not strong enough. In view of that fact it’s of course difficult for us. But I think the projects that are being carried out now will be properly functioning by 2014. We have every chance to perform successfully in Sochi and compete for the first place among teams.

— Vladimir Putin urged: “We should start thinking about preparation of our national team on winter sports for the Olympic Games in Sochi”. During three years from 2009 till 2011 it has been planned to give 14 billions rubles for that purpose. Do you think it is enough?

—There is never too much money, but I think that nowadays sports in Russia are financed adequately. We should spend them in a rational way collectively and not privately as it was done not so long ago.

— And what about the world financial crisis? Is it able to hamper Russia to hold “the best Games ever”?

— Economic crisis is an objective reality, we cannot underestimate its influence. But Russia has enough funds, specialists, enthusiasm and patriotism to really make the Games in Sochi the best in the history of the Olympic movement. Especially with such a curator as Vladimir Putin.

— According to the results of the special session of State Council held last year and presided by Dmitry Medvedev: “All the politics on spots development in our country will be radically changed”. What changes should we await exactly?

— Elite sport should be feeded by the mass sport. It used to be like that in the USSR when we had a slogan “Mass sports gives way to skill”. For some time this slogan lost its significance. Good traditions were forgotten, trainers lost their high social status, and sports schools for children became fewer. We must strengthen the foundation of our sports movement, it is our national task. And, of course, we should restore the prestige of the trainers especially in sports for children and youth. We must build new sports facilities, not necessarily Palace of Sports, but accessible for the majority. Many of them are already being built but there is still a lot of work to be done.

— Will Russians have time to prepare to give good performance in Vancouver and London? In what sports can we count on prize winning places and in what can we be outsiders?

— Our leaders and candidates started preparation for London as soon as the Games in Beijing were over and for Vancouver — right after the Games in Turin. It is natural. Of course, some people left sports, finished their career but there appeared a new generation.

Author: Maxim Fedorov