Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has presented state awards to athletes and coaches of the Belarusian kayak and canoe team. The solemn ceremony took place in the Palace of Independence in Minsk on 26 November.
At the beginning of the ceremony the head of state noted that it became a good tradition to meet in the Palace of Independence to celebrate people who make Belarus proud and who amaze the entire world.
Among them is the national kayak and canoe team. Aleksandr Lukashenko called it the most steadily performing and successful national team of the decade. The President said that this sport is truly Belarusian. “It is inextricably incorporated into a centuries-old culture and way of life of Belarus, a land of a thousand rivers and lakes,” he said.
The President noted that fans got used to victories of the Belarusian kayak and canoe team at biggest international events. “The team brings home gold from every competition, including the Olympic Games. During the 2nd European Games in June I saw it with my own eyes. I closely followed the cut-throat competition at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged where you showed again that Belarusians are unrivaled today. After clinching 14 medals, including 6 gold, you won the team title leaving behind other leaders, including Germany, Hungary, China, Russia, and New Zealand. That will be enough at the forthcoming Olympics. I personally do not demand a bigger result from you, just repeat that success,” the President said.
The head of state extended his sincere gratitude to the athletes for the moments of overwhelming joy they gave to all sports lovers. The President gave a special mention to Maryna Litvinchuk and Volha Khudzenka (K2 Women). “Our golden duo triumphed twice in Hungary,” the President said. The Belarusian head of state also thanked the entire team, because in such a sport good performance of team members is a good inspiration for even greater victories, the President added.