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Seven Olympic Champions Take Part in Road Tour of ‘Russia – Country of Sports’ Forum

26 September 2022
7 олимпийских чемпионов уже приняли участие в роуд-туре форума «Россия - спортивная держава»

Prominent athletes have already held a road tour dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the ‘Russia – Country of Sports’ Forum in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, and Ufa on their way to Kemerovo. At each stop, the sports stars speak about and show off iconic sports facilities and meet with young athletes. The road tour was organized by the Russian Ministry of Sports and RC Sport, the sports platform of the Roscongress Foundation.

Tokyo 2020 artistic gymnastics champion Lilia Akhaimova and Russian national team basketball player Victor Keyru paid a visit to the 2018 World Cup stadium in Nizhny Novgorod. “This is my first visit to Nizhny Novgorod, and I’m simply in awe of this arena. It’s a very beautiful stadium and a real landmark of the city. It’s great that not only football is held here, but also concerts and even weddings! It’s crucial that such sports facilities become centres of attraction for residents,” Akhaimova said. The road tour participants also visited the Academy 52 sports base outside of Nizhny Novgorod.

In Kazan, Keyru was joined by Sochi 2014 cross-country skiing champion Alexander Legkov. Together they attended the final of the first national school volleyball league and met with Olympic champion Maxim Mikhailov.

“Unfortunately, during my childhood there were no competitions of this magnitude and with such a large audience. It’s really great that children can already feel like professional athletes. Children’s sports are the most important thing,” Mikhailov said. He also noted that he has been playing for Zenit–Kazan since 2010 that the city transformed before his eyes for the Universiade 2013 and continues to develop today. “We have simply everything here: from good roads to lots of cool sports facilities,” the legendary volleyball player said.

After the volleyball match, Legkov and Keyru went to Uram Park, the largest extreme sports centre in the country. Legkov was so impressed that he even put on a helmet and took a BMX bike for a ride on a track. “All the conditions are in place here for skateboarding, BMX, 3x3 basketball, and other popular and youth sports. It’s essential that such complexes as Uram appear throughout the country,” Keyru said.

Kazan is currently hosting the final event of the revived Spartakiad – a gymnastics tournament in which Tokyo 2020 winners Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagorny took part. The road tour participants also paid a visit to them.

“This year, Kazan is hosting the third All-Russian tournament, and the city always warmly welcomes gymnasts. I’m glad there are always a lot of children in the stands,” Dalaloyan said. “Any competition that combines numerous sports is a great motivation for me. When you see the results of the winners in different events, it’s really encouraging and motivating,” Nagorny said about the Spartakiad.

After receiving parting words from the gymnasts, Legkov travelled on to Ufa, the next destination on the road tour, where he met with skiers from Bashkortostan and also took a fencing master class from Olympic champion Adelina Zagidullina. These events were held at the Bashkortostan Sports Training Centre named after 13-time Paralympic Games champion Rima Batalova. This unique sports complex, which opened in 2019, offers training in 49 sports. Legkov also visited the new Gymnastics Centre, which opened this spring.

“Bashkir athletes have excellent conditions for training. The Wrestling Palace and other facilities are also coming soon. It’s great that just as much attention is being paid here to the development of grassroots and school sports. At the initiative of the head [of the Republic of Bashkortostan] Radiy Khabirov, a programme is being implemented to build standard-size pools. The ‘Wrestling in School!’ programme is being implemented, and Ufa will host a school sports festival of the CIS countries in November,” Legkov said.

Three-time Olympic synchronized swimming champion Alexandra Patskevich oversaw the Moscow stage of the road tour. Olympic speed skating medallist Olga Fatkulina will handle the road tour stage in Chelyabinsk, two-time Olympic shooting champion Vitalina Batsarashkina in Omsk, and two-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling winner Roman Vlasov in Novosibirsk. The road tour will conclude in Kemerovo, where the ‘Russia – Country of Sports’ Forum will kick off its 10th anniversary celebrations on 28 September.

For more information about the road tour and other sports projects of RC Sport, please visit: