The young and elderly alike take to their skis

Minsk Ski Track-2013 was recently held in the Belarusian capital’s Vesnyanka suburb, having traditionally been hosted by the Raubichi complex. The change of venue gathered an unprecedented crowd, eager to enjoy the last snowy days of winter in the fresh air. 
By Dmitry Baranovsky

Traditionally, a variety of distances are included, with representatives of various state administrative bodies competing alongside the general public: an individual 2km mass start for the leaders of state administrative bodies and state organisations; individual races for sporting veterans and those from the Great Patriotic War; mass events for school children and students and those from fitness clubs across the capital; and a 4x2km relay for ministry and agency teams (one including the President). Taking the last leg, Mr. Lukashenko kept the pace set by Oleg Ryzhenkov, Sergey Bulygin and Yelena Zubrilova, retaining his team’s significant lead, to take victory. Second place went to the Vitebsk Region Executive Committee team and bronze was awarded to that of the Minsk Region Executive Committee. Teams were also entered by the Council of Ministers, the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, and by various regions and the city of Minsk.

Summing up the results of competition, the President shared the secret of success, stressing the need for patience, conserving energy until the vital moment. He views sport as a corner stone of the nation’s development and looks forward to Belarus hosting a major skiing and biathlon event before long.

“Recently, I reviewed a proposal to reconstruct our main winter sports centre of Raubichi; in two or three years, you won’t recognise it. I can confidently say that we’re ready to host a Biathlon World Cup stage or that of a European Championship or World Championship — in cross-country skiing and biathlon.” Of course, the relevant international federations will need to grant Belarus this honour.

Minsk Ski Track was a true delight, creating a wonderful sporting atmosphere, with something to appeal to everyone — from tug of war and other contests to raffles, and, of course, a variety of entertainment. Having celebrated winter, we are now ready to greet the spring!
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