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Second European Games in Belarus

21 Jun 2019

Opinion: Minsk European Games will be a great sport celebration

Opinion: Minsk European Games will be a great sport celebration

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) – The 2nd European Games in Minsk will be a great sport celebration, President of the European Olympic Committees Janez Kocijancic told journalists on 21 June, BelTA has learned.

“I have been to Minsk many times. This is a very beautiful city with nice, friendly people. Belarus has prepared well for the event. I expect the 2nd European Games to run very smoothly. They will be, first of all, a great sport celebration. They will also be a good experience for all participants: athletes, sport fans, and Minsk citizens. I believe that Europe and the whole world will discover Minsk from a new side. I hope that we will all be a success,” Janez Kocijancic said.

He also stressed the importance of the exhibition featuring Olympic prizes and medals from a private collection of famous Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin which opened in the Minsk Town Hall on 21 June. The exhibition consists of around 400 items. They include gold, silver, bronze, and commemorative medals, torches, the Olympic Games winners’ and participants’ diplomas, badges of honor, cups, statues, and horns of the Olympic Games of different years.

“I am happy that Minsk is hosting such an important exhibition during the 2nd European Games. It is hard to overestimate this collection as it showcases over a hundred years of achievements of the global sport,” Janez Kocijancic noted.

The exhibition in Minsk displays the most interesting part of the collection from the historical point of view. It showcases prizes of the Olympic Games of the first half of the 20th century, including the first modern 1896 Athens Olympic Games and 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games which featured the USSR team for the first time. The exhibition also includes Olympic items from three games which have special significance for Belarus. This is the 1980 Olympic Games when the Olympic Flame was lit at Dinamo Stadium in Minsk, the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Games featuring the former USSR countries as separate teams, and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as the exhibition is timed to its fifth anniversary.

The collection of famous Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin introduces visitors to the history and heritage of the sport movement and the Olympics. It was opened to the audience in 2019. Minsk will become a starting point for the exhibition which will then travel round the world and go on display during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games, and other large-scale sport events.

Minsk is hosting the 2nd European Games on 21-30 June. Over 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will compete for 200 medal sets in 15 sports. The opening ceremony of the games will take place at Dinamo Stadium on 21 June.


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