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Meeting with heads of international sports federations

July 30, 2010, Moscow

Dmitry Medvedev met with heads of international sports federations on the sidelines of the international sports forum Russia – Country of Sports, which opened yesterday at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

The first Russia – Country of Sports forum was held in October 2009 in Kazan, which had just been named the host city for the XXVII World Summer Student Games in 2013. In the aim of developing international sports cooperation the event was later given international status.

The forum’s aim is to develop physical culture and sport, build up international sports cooperation, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

* * *

Opening remarks at meeting with heads of international sports federations

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues,

I want to thank you sincerely for taking part in this forum, this meeting. Our contacts with you are exceptionally important for our country for a number of reasons. 

First, we really are a sports power, and developing sport is one of top national priorities.

Second, we are preparing to host the World Student Games and the Olympic Games. Of course, our cooperation with the international federations is very important for the success of these preparations and for ensuring that we will be up to all of the tasks at hand.

Your advice, recommendations, and your goodwill are extremely valuable to us because we want these events to be of the highest possible standard and quality. We want to make them memorable, and we simply want them to make everyone very happy.

Finally, we are all modern people, and I hope that we all want to see the achievements of the international sports organizations and the federations spread as rapidly as possible to our country too, and this requires close contact, close communication, and not just by telephone and internet, but face-to-face too. We cannot achieve anything without this kind of contact, and all the more so in the sports world.

Sport is not just about personal achievement, but is also about communication and character, and so these kinds of achievements and decisions cannot emerge and spread without direct and productive talks, direct contacts, and the kind of meeting that we are having today. I therefore wish you all a very warm welcome.

We are in the middle of an unprecedented heat wave, but I hope that this has not spoiled your stay in Moscow. We have never had such record high temperatures before. At times I have the impression that I’m somewhere in Italy or in Egypt, but certainly not in Moscow.

At the same time, this creates the opportunity to get a feel for all of the different faces of Moscow. I hope that Moscow’s hot climate has not tired you out, and that you have not lost faith in our ability to hold the Winter Olympics.

Frankly, what is going on with the world’s climate at the moment should incite us all (I mean world leaders and heads of public organizations) to make a more strenuous effort to fight global climate change.

We will have to take this factor into account in our preparations for the Olympics and other international competitions. I think that we will have to make adjustments for the climate factor, and spend extra money, and this concerns the Winter Olympics too.

Very soon in fact I will be meeting right there [in Sochi], as it happens, with the heads of our sports federations representing winter sports. We will need to take what is happening to nature into account. I hope that you might have a few thoughts to share with me on what we can do in this situation.

Once more, thank you very much for being here today. I wish you a warm welcome to the Russian Federation.


July 30, 2010, Moscow