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Opening ceremony of The Match Europe v USA

10 September 2019
Opening ceremony of The Match Europe v USA
See also: photo
9 September 2019
Opening ceremony of The Match Europe v USA 16 photo

Dear friends,

Greetings and salutations to all renowned athletes and fans of athletics, the Queen of Sports.

About two months ago we lit the flame of the 2nd European Games here, at the Dinamo Stadium, we applauded the victories and achievements of the best European athletes. Today many of them, including our compatriots, will join forces to uphold the sports honor of the continent.

It is for the first time in the history of athletics that The Match Europe v USA will take place at this Dinamo Stadium. It is a great honor for Belarus to host such large-scale competitions. It is also an opportunity to recall the past of the Dinamo Stadium – the place where legendary Soviet and American athletes performed in the previous century.

Back then the USSR v USA match demonstrated an example of fair and uncompromising fight. And most importantly it became a symbol of the desire for political balance and peaceful competition between the largest powers of that age.

I am convinced that even today such sports competitions are capable of changing the political situation for the better.

Minsk is happy to welcome overseas friends – the sports team from the United States of America, who had to travel a long way to reach Belarus and promptly adapt to the new conditions. I am convinced that Belarusian hospitality, the warm welcome spectators demonstrate will help you perform at the top of your game.

Belarusian spectators will surely root for all athletes – it is a characteristic trait of the tolerant nation, which is open to the world.

We know for sure that whoever wins, we – millions of fans from all over the globe – will bear witness to the birth of new track and field legends.

May strong will, perseverance and dignity triumph at the Dinamo Stadium. We want honest games and honest victories.

I would like to add a few words in conclusion, dear friends.

As we know from our friends [President of the International Association of Athletics Federations] Sebastian Coe and [President of the European Athletic Association] Svein Arne Hansen, the next Europe v USA match is supposed to take place in the USA in 2021. This is a biennial event and it will be the country’s turn to host the competition. However, in 2021 the USA will host the world athletics championships and the rules disallow combining the competitions.

Dear friends, Mr. Coe, Mr. Hansen, we suggest you should spend these two years in Belarus. Don’t rush to the faraway Europe or America. If you trust us with it, we will arrange another match at an even higher standard. I promise you that in two years Minsk would be able to become the capital of the United States of America.

I want to clarify. I hope no one will suspect us having an intention to take over America. For the duration of the competitions in 2021, if you trust us with it, Minsk will become the capital of the USA because the USA should host the next match. We will come to terms with Donald Trump. By 2021 he will have been re-elected for another term. I think he will come here to this stadium, to the capital of the next athletic games, a match of the century.

I think you will consider my suggestions just like you once considered my suggestion to hold this year’s competition in Belarus. You gave a feast to us. You gave a feast to our people. As I have said today, Belarusians are grateful people. Thank you very much. Let the competition begin at the legendary Dinamo Stadium in Minsk!

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© 2019, The Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus