Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the opening ceremony of the Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics in Minsk on 6 March.
Together with Olympic champions Marina Lobach of Belarus and Alina Kabaeva of Russia, Chairperson of the Belarusian Gymnastics Association Yelena Skripel and Minsk Mayor Andrei Shorets, the head of state cut a symbolic ribbon in the entrance hall of the center and handed over a symbolic key to the members of the Belarusian national rhythmic gymnastics team.
The official opening ceremony was attended by President of the European Gymnastics Union Farid Gayibov, chief coach of the Belarusian national rhythmic gymnastics team Irina Leparskaya, famous Belarusian gymnasts and coaches, young athletes.
During the visit to the Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics, the President familiarized himself with its infrastructure, including initial training facilities, gyms, a recreation room for athletes, a swimming pool and a rehabilitation center. The President asked if the palace has all the necessary equipment for balanced training. He was assured that the sports facility meets all global standards for such buildings.
The head of state remarked that the Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics has become a symbolic present for Belarusian gymnastics in the run-up to International Women’s Day. “I think that the project to build this beautiful center is a good investment,” Lukashenko said.
The President thanked all people involved in the project. He was especially grateful to builders. “You did a good job. Less than a year ago we agreed to build such a beautiful and comfortable palace by 8 March for our girls, their parents, all those working in rhythmic gymnastics. And we have done it. Thanks you very much,” the head of state said.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, a lot is being done in Belarus to support and promote rhythmic gymnastics. “This is the place where you will not only work. And I know that athletes work very hard. I know how difficult it is for you, especially for children. I believe this will be the place where you will train and take a rest. And we will be rooting for you,” the President said addressing the gymnasts.
The head of state also expressed hope that they will never have serious injuries. Therefore, it also important to avoid psychological pressure. “If you solve this issue, you will definitely become world and Olympic champions,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The participants of the opening ceremony watched gala performances of Belarusian gymnasts. At the end of the event the gymnasts presented the painting called Dreams Come True featuring the new Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics to the head of state. It was painted during one of the performance with golden dust.