The press conference saw the attendance of four-time Olympic swimming champion, honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and holder of the Olympic Order Alexander Popov, three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling champion Alexander Karelin, five-time Olympic synchronized swimming champion Svetlana Romashina, Olympic cross-country skiing champion Alexander Legkov, Olympic handball champion Igor Lavrov, Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Daria Shkurikhina, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan Vladimir Leonov and Rector of Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism Yusup Yakubov.
Alexander Popov was first to take the floor with the welcome speech: “First of all, I would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, for support given to the delivery of our event. Thank you for the contribution provided to the success of the Games that are taking place on the Tatarstan soil, in Kazan. I want to thank all those involved. We’ve put a great effort to make the Cup happen. I want to express my words of gratitude to the Olympic champions and medallists for coming here and sharing the minutes of joy with us,” he said.
For his part, Vladimir Leonov expressed confidence that the event will have a long history and development: “We are always glad to host the Popov Cup in Kazan and we will be more than happy to welcome it next time again. It’s a huge, high-profile event that wraps up a very busy and packed season. Kazan has already hosted more than 30 international events and the Cup will be its beautiful culmination. I want to thank our leadership, President Rustam Minnikhanov, who supported this project last year, and this year as well. Let me congratulate you on this huge festive event. The main thing is that those boys and girls who take part in the Games these days were aware of the prospect and starting with these youth competitions began their adult sporting careers,” said the Minister, as quoted by the Press Office of the Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Alexander Popov also mentioned that Kazan is the most comfortable place to host the competitions. “The beauty of Kazan is that no other city is capable to provide such a great infrastructure that would meet the requirements set to the sports venues’ size and accessibility. Our main idea is that there’s the Universiade Village and all the action should unfold around it,” he informed.
On 6-8 December, the International Children's Games for Olympic Champions’ Prizes (11th Alexander Popov Cup) take place in Kazan and combine six sporting events. The athletes compete for prizes in Greco-Roman wrestling (Alexander Karelin prize), handball (Igor Lavrov prize), skiing (Alexander Legkov prize), rhythmic gymnastics (Daria Shkurikhina prize), synchronized swimming (Svetlana Romashina prize), swimming (Alexander Popov prize).
The Alexander Popov Cup takes place at the following venues: Burevestnik Swimming Pool (swimming, synchronized swimming); Burevestnik Athletic Stadium (skiing); Academic and Laboratory Building of the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism (Greco-Roman wrestling); Gymnastics Centre (rhythmic gymnastics); Miras Sports Complex (handball).
Media Department of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects