On International Olympic Day, the Host City Media Center in St. Petersburg hosted a meeting where experts discussed Soviet and Russian athletes' contribution to the world Olympic movement, as well as the role of St. Petersburg in training Olympic athletes.
According to the Chairman of St. Petersburg Committee for Fitness and Sports, Merited Master of Sports of Russia, silver Olympic medalist in cycling Anton Shantyr, as many as 54 Olympic gold medalists live in St. Petersburg today. An athlete from St. Petersburg also won Russia's very first gold medal. Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin won the ‘special figures' event in the figure skating competition in 1908.
Shantyr reminded the audience that this year marks 110 years of the Russian Olympic Committee.
"International Olympic Day, and the Olympic Movement are of huge importance in Russia because fostering the country's sporting reserve is part of the Olympic movement, to one degree or another. For any athlete, the Olympic Games are a major start in life," he stressed.
International Olympic Day is celebrated by athletes around the world who have participated in the Olympics, added Tatyana Kazankina, three-time Olympic track and field champion, Deputy Chair of the St. Petersburg Olympic Council. In St. Petersburg, it is traditional to organize festivities in all districts of the city. Olympians in St. Petersburg hold thematic meetings and tell local residents and children about the Olympic Games. This year, the events had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
"Our job is to motivate young people to exercise and do sports. We really want representatives of the younger generation to join Russia's national teams and become Olympic champions some day. We will be delighted to have them in our big Olympic family," Kazankina said.
Maria Temnikova, a member of the Russian swimming team, told the guests at the media center about the preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"Training is going well for me and my team. We are making every effort to achieve the best result," she said, adding that this year, due to the epidemic, the competition would be organized in a different way from previous years.
Finally, three-time Olympic champion in cycling, President of the Russian Cycling Federation Vyacheslav Yekimov addressed young athletes.
"I would like to wish young people watching and listening to us now — aim for a win, don't just participate," he said.