Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with medal winners of 30th Summer Olympic Games

    Financial incentives in sport will depend on results and medals. It is also necessary to estimate the results of work of sport officials. President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko made such statements as he met with champions and medal winners of the 30th Summer Olympic Games in London.

    “These medals are not just a fair reward for the efforts of each athlete, but also a great pride for our country. Your successes inspired us and made us happy. I am sincerely grateful to you for a great performance in London,” the head of state said.

    “In the conditions of a cut-throat competition, sometimes questionable refereeing, biased attitude on the part of individual international sports officials, you demonstrated extraordinary professionalism and will to victory,” the President said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko praised shooter Sergei Martynov who won a clear-cut victory and set two new world records, as well as Victoria Azarenka and Maxim Mirnyi. “They managed to defeat the hosts of the Wimbledon tennis court. It is a remarkable success,” the head of state said.

    “Alexandra Gerasimenya’s performance was brilliant! She has become the first Olympic medalist in swimming in the history of independent Belarus. Now we have two medals. I hope that Sasha’s achievements will become a benchmark for others, including young athletes,” the President said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked all the sportsmen for their extraordinary dedication, ambitions, excellent results, as well as coaches and many other people who contributed to the triumph of Belarusian Olympians. “I would like to say that we supported every our athlete. After all, the Olympic Games are a special competition requiring great concentration and psychological endurance,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the champions and medal winners of the Olympic Games 2012 again for their performance and patriotism demonstrated to the entire world. “Let your victories bring joy to our nation, let the pride for the country that raised you inspire fledgling athletes to reach new heights!” the President said.

    However, the President admitted that some tasks set for the Belarusian Olympic team were not fulfilled. “Unfortunately, not everyone managed to cope with the tension and concentrate amid a very tough competition. To put it straight, some were outright unprepared for the Olympic Games,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He added that this time Belarus performed worse than in the previous Olympic Games in terms of medals. In some sports the results were disheartening. The President promised that this situation will be thoroughly discussed after a detailed analysis of the performance of Belarusian athletes.

    “The Olympic Games in Sochi and Rio de Janeiro are ahead. We need to find courage to admit the mistakes we made, learn from our experience and work very hard to achieve good results” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko presented state awards, letters of thanks and honorary titles to the Olympians and coaches.

    BelTA has been told that in addition to the solemn part in the meeting of the head of state with champions and winners of the Summer Olympics ways to raise performance in sports were discussed as well as what the government, sportsmen and coaches have to do for it.

    Two-time swimming Olympics silver medalist Alexandra Gerasimenya stated that skilled managers are in short supply in many kinds of sport. They should be able to build a pyramid starting with junior sportsmen and ending with Olympic ones. Due to the lack of these managers reserves are weak and sometimes there is no one to replace retiring famous sportsmen. The sportswoman asked the head of state to help find a candidate for the office of the Chairman of the Swimming Federation for the sake of advancing this kind of sport.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko was surprisingly fast to resolve the problem by suggesting that Vice Premier Anatoly Tozik should do it: “He has the leverage to manage anyone. It is a man, who is the first in the government and the country to be held accountable for sports development”. The Vice Premier, who was present at the meeting, agreed to undertake these duties.

    The President stressed that it is necessary to examine the work of coaches. “You should keep in mind, I announce it publically today, that there will be no easy money in sport anymore. Only for the result. You perform well – you get the money,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “Sport ceased to be mere sport a long time ago. It became a matter of big politics long ago and you see what is going on. Therefore, I advise the sportsmen, who intend to continue performing in the future, they should start getting ready for the forthcoming world championships and Olympics right now,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that as a president he is expected to enable normal conditions for sportsmen so that they could do their best practicing in Belarus instead of practicing abroad. Moreover, even many prizewinners and champions from other countries choose Belarus as a training base these days. “No, we may not be doing everything in sports like they do in America and China. But we have everything in order to perform as well as we did in previous years. I don’t demand that you must perform as good as the UK and Russia. I am talking about dynamics. I say that we don’t grow and don’t move on. We have fallen down instead. It is a problem. Meanwhile, conditions have improved massively,” the head of state said.

    “It is not the time to explain how hard it was, it is time to be responsible for results. It is the difference between today and yesterday,” underlined the President. “We will compare results with time. Moreover, I do not demand exorbitant performance from you”.

    “It is necessary to seek people, who can organize this or that sport and who don’t lose it. If we want to get medals, we should preserve the schools, which are progressing, the schools, where we have a potential,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

    President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko deems it necessary to revise the system of financial incentives in sport, including rewards for junior coaches who look for and train talented children.

    “We should examine the work of junior coaches, determine what they should get and what they should give and how they should work. In a market economy people are paid only for the result, but we are ready to pay for the work too. If the work is successful, then all honors to them,” the President said.

    As for top coaches who work with national teams, the President believes they should take care of succession in sport. “If you want to be remembered forever, find and bring new talented athletes,” the head of state said.