Posted: 15.12.2021 14:01:00

Greats seen at a distance

A gala evening held dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee

If, thirty years ago, we had been told that Belarus would have such an amazing sports infrastructure as it does now, that it would brilliantly host the 2nd European Games, the IIHF World Championship and a number of other mega-large tournaments, that ice palaces would grow across the country, that sport halls and stadiums would be built countrywide, that a huge number of medals will be won, that mass and children’s sports will develop, many would probably not believe it. Indeed, in those difficult conditions in which the formation of Belarusian sports took place, one could only dream of these achievements. However, today it is a fact: Belarus is rightfully included in the elite  of world sports and the National Olympic Committee has much to be proud of for 30 years of fruitful work.

Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko presents the President of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, Viktor Lukashenko, with an honorary diploma from the Council of Ministers
Photo by Vitaly Pivovarchik

The gala evening, which gathered many guests in its warm and cozy atmosphere, was the final note in a series of bright events timed to coincide with the anniversary. In the year of its 30th anniversary, the National Olympic Committee of Belarus (NOC) has implemented a number of projects. One of the most notable was the Vytoki cultural and sports festival. This holiday of sports, science, culture and education resounded throughout the country, being enjoyed by both audiences and participants. On the day the organisation was founded, March 22nd, a documentary film about the 30th anniversary of the NOC was screened. 


The Olympic team performed at the Tokyo Games in the Team BY brand outfit, which was developed by domestic designers together with the National Olympic Committee staff. An important part of the event was the organisation of the photo exhibition, entitled The National Olympic Committee of Belarus: 30 Years. The Stories of Our Victories! The photo project contains works of the most significant events over thirty years while also presenting the highlights of the performances of the champions and prize-winners of the Olympic Games of sovereign Belarus. Another amazing media project — the TEAM BY glossy sports magazine — released on the creative and production platform of the Belarus Publishing House just before — was also timed to coincide with the festive date: the 30th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee.  

The celebration ceremony was attended by famous Belarusian athletes, Olympic champions from different years: Andrey Barbashinsky, Yelena Belova, Andrei Bahdanovich and Aliaksandr Bahdanovich, Uladzislau Gancharou, Dmitry Dovgalenok, Ekaterina Karsten, Aleksandr Karshakevich, Anton Kushnir, Ihar Makarau, Sergei Martynov, Aleksandr Medved, Aleksandr Romankov, Leonid Taranenko and many others. Of course, there were also heroes of modern times: Alina Harnasko, Maryna Litvinchuk and Volha Khudzenka, Vanessa Kaladzinskaya and Iryna Kurachkina... It seems that not long ago we worried about them at the Tokyo Games, rejoicing at their successes, but now it was nice to see them young, happy and fit, replacing their usual sports attire with elegant evening dresses. There were also our famous, legendary coaches, without whom our success would be unthinkable: Irina Leparskaya, Vladimir Shantarovich, Gennady Galitsky... The leadership of the sports industry, well-known public figures and artists, media representatives — this evening they all became one friendly team of like-minded people, united by the Olympic spirit. 
The official part of the gala evening was opened by the President of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus, Viktor Lukashenko. He noted, “The National Olympic Committee is not just a temple of sports, it is our common home, in which we must share the joy of victory and the bitterness of defeat. Difficulties only temper and unite us, awaken colossal strength of mind and open the way to the most difficult heights, because the Olympic movement is more than sports, it is a philosophy of life. We would not have achieved much if we thought it was impossible. Each of you has made a great contribution to the development of the national Olympic movement and sport of highest achievements.”
Viktor Lukashenko also expressed his sincere words of gratitude to all athletes, coaches, medical workers and employees of the sports industry. The official part was continued by Prime Minister of Belarus, Roman Golovchenko, who took the stage with a pleasant mission: the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus decided to award the National Olympic Committee with the Certificate of Honour of the Council of Ministers for its significant contribution to the implementation of state policy in the field of physical culture and sports.
The Head of Government congratulated everyone on the anniversary and said, “The past thirty years have been a time of the formation of the Olympic movement, overcoming difficulties on this path and, of course, a time of achievements and great victories. This became possible, among other things, due to the state’s attention to the development of sports.”
There were a lot of smiles, informal communication and a good atmosphere throughout. During the event, there were gifts and awards, as well as a presentation of uniform kit for the national team for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

By Sergei Kanashits