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Opinions & Interviews

25 Feb 2014

Tsylinskaya: Belarus’ sports successes are due to President’s policy

Tsylinskaya: Belarus’ sports successes are due to President’s policy

MINSK, 25 February (BelTA) – The achievements of Belarusian athletes are due to the consistent and goal-oriented policy of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, BelTA learnt from one of the most famous Belarusian athletes, eight-time world champion in track cycling Natalia Tsylinskaya. The athlete is taking part in the ceremony to honor the heroes of the Sochi 2014 Olympics on 25 February.

“It was not so long ago that many complained of new sports facilities built in Belarus. They insisted that Belarus does not need so many. These Olympic Games have proved that the state made the right decision when it decided to build new athletic facilities,” Natalia Tsylinskaya said.

Belarusian athletes won a record number of Olympic medals in Sochi, however, Natalia Tsylinskaya believes that it is just the beginning. “I think it is simply a crouch start and we have not yet stood up straight like sprinters at the hundred meter race. They start from a crouch start and run 10 meters before they straighten up. The same thing is about us. We have just started,” the athlete said.

If the President did not build all these facilities, me might not have been able to succeed, Natalia Tsylinskaya underlined.

The famous athlete does not share the view that sport is outside politics: “It is not true. It is important that Belarus is recognized and respected internationally, it is a great thing”.

Natalia Tsylinskaya believes it is right that the country is proud of its athletes. In her view, it is important that the state supports sport and parenthood. “These are the foundations of our society, its backbone. The right goals have been set and the right priorities chosen,” she said.

The athlete underlined: “I am happy to be a Belarusian athlete. I have not seen a better attitude to sport anywhere else in the world. Maybe, someone will mention America, Australia, Great Britain, but our country is very young compared to them. Although we gained independence not so long ago, we can compete with the rest of them on equals, we are a strong rival in all the fields. We are doing everything right. Thanks to President Alexander Lukashenko”.

Natalia Tsylinskaya is an eight time World Champion, an Olympic bronze medalist. She first gained international recognition at the 2000 World Championships in Manchester where she won two gold medals. In 2001 she won two gold medals at three of the four world cups. She won gold medals in Mexico City and Moscow (2002), in Ballerup, Denmark (2002), in Bordeaux, France (2006), in Stuttgart (2003), and Los Angeles (2005). At the Olympics in Athens in 2004 Natalia Tsylinskaya took the bronze medal, her only Olympic medal, in the 500m time trial.

In 2007 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is also President of the National Olympic Committee, presented Natalia Tsylinskaya with a special prize Belarusian Sports Olympus for outstanding achievements at international competitions and her contribution to promoting sports and physical education.

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