Posted: 28.04.2022 18:02:00

2nd National Athletes Forum kicked off in Minsk

2nd National Athletes Forum has started at the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus, bringing together about 250 athletes, coaches, representatives of sports federations and other organisations

During the opening of the forum, President of the NOC of Belarus Viktor Lukashenko greeted those present and thanked the Russian colleagues for their co-operation and open dialogue in the interests of the development of sports in Belarus and Russia. He noted that the National Athletes Forum, which is being held for the second time under the auspices and at the initiative of the NOC, is already acquiring an international format, and expressed confidence that this event has great prospects.

“It should be noted that recent events and the difficult situation that is developing around international sports and the Olympic movement involuntarily return us to the past. I think everyone remembers the events of the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games, when the efforts that the athletes made turned out to be in vain, and their desire to show themselves at the Olympics was not realised. The fates of some athletes, one might say, were even broken. The Olympic movement itself has faced a serious crisis and has become split,” noted Viktor Lukashenko. “Unfortunately, history is cyclical, it repeats itself, so together we must determine directions and develop solutions that will help us cope with the current challenges.”

Viktor Lukashenko assured athletes that they can always count on the NOC support. Over the past years, all conditions have been created in our country for athletes to train, compete and win competitions of any rank. According to the NOC President, this policy will be continued.

“Now is a difficult time for everyone, but a crisis always gives a chance to reach new heights, opening up new opportunities. We must rely only on common sense, on our strength, on like-minded people and our friends. I repeat once again: the NOC of Belarus will continue to defend and protect the interests of our athletes,” summed up Viktor Lukashenko.

The President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Stanislav Pozdnyakov, also noted that now – at a time when the Olympic movement is under threat due to political preferences – we need to unite and lend a helping hand to each other, thereby demonstrating the main Olympic values: solidarity and friendship.

“Based on the results of the meeting of the Athletes’ Commissions of the NOC of Belarus and the ROC, definite proposals were developed on how we will work further,” said Stanislav Pozdnyakov. “Of course, athletes are the essence of the Olympic movement, so all our work, all our activities are aimed at protecting the interests of athletes.”