Brilliant chances given to future champions
Minsk’s Olympic Reserve Centre (named after three time Olympic champion Alexander Medved) solemnly opens at 35 Kalinovsky Street — where Vilnius Cinema was previously situated
By Igor Grishin
The opening coincided with the 75th birthday of the famous Belarusian wrestler, Alexander Medved, as noted by Minsk City Executive Committee Chairman Nikolai Ladutko. The launch of the complex pays tribute to Alexander Medved’s contribution to Belarusian sport. As the Chairman of the Belarusian Wrestling Federation, Yuri Chizh, noted, the new sports facility will greatly inspire the development of Belarusian wrestling. “Avoiding a repetition of the mistakes of the 2012 London Olympics is vital,” he said; during the Games, Belarusian wrestlers lost five fights for bronze.
Mr. Medved personally thanked all those present, saying, “This sports facility is unique for our city, allowing us to host competitions and training at all levels. I hope future champions will be nurtured here.” The sportsman solemnly received the key to the door and, afterwards, the ribbon was cut — as is traditional.
Mr. Chizh stressed that training of young wrestlers will begin in about a month’s time. He dispelled rumours that Belarus’ national team is to train at the venue, explaining, “They won’t train here, as we are designing another House of Wrestling in Minsk, which will become the major base for the national team. Rather, youngsters are to train at this facility.”
“The school is yet to open,” explained Mr. Medved, adding, “We’re now seeking coaches and children.”
The facility has several gyms for training, in addition to two rooms with floor mats where young sportsmen can demonstrate their mastery. Shower rooms, cloakrooms, a sauna and a cafe ensure comfort while the Hall of Wrestling Glory is sure to inspire all who view it. It features the original awards of the most famous Belarusian wrestlers: Olympic champions Oleg Karavayev, Kamandar Madzhidov and Alexander Medved. It also showcases two unusual sculptures: one of two fighting wrestlers and the other of a bear standing at the top of a podium, wearing three Olympic medals.