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As you make your bed

February 28 2006

On the eve of the Turin returned Russian Olympians. At the airport "Sheremetyevo" they were met by relatives, friends, fans and hundreds of ordinary cameras. All our athletes have brought from Italy, 8 gold, 6 silver and 8 bronze medals. Their performances and related events have generated a lot of talk about how well our team performed in Italy.

All Russian sports officials clearly appreciated the performance of our Olympians as successful. Optimists say that after a whole string of nasty stories in Salt Lake City 22 medals as a whole instead of 14 and 8 gold instead of 5 - this is a real breakthrough. Pessimists retort that in Soviet times, we won more than 10 gold medals at one Olympics, or the same 8, but with much less extensive program.

Each of these points of view has a right to exist, and each one is partly true. In any case, such a statement the Russian national team has a logical explanation, which follows from the general state of sports in our country. Some kind of sports has been given more attention, it gave more money, but some vegetating somewhere in the back, surviving on the enthusiasm involved in them. But first things first.

A real breakthrough can be called a statement Russian skaters win one medal each worth. Victory Svetlana Zhurova on 5-metrovke was particularly pleasing to the fact that before this, two consecutive Olympics, Russians not even close to approaching the podium. However, the answer lies not in a purely sporting plane. The fact that earlier in Russia, there was no indoor rink, and the national championships were held in Berlin. Naturally, the Germans would not give to be dispersed to their competitors. But in Moscow recently appeared indoor ice rink, and he immediately paid for itself in Turin. Basically, what you sow (ie build), so shall you reap.

But with ski jumps and ski trails in the country's misfortune. In these sports, we did not shine in Soviet times, nothing happened and now. Hardly something we have been able to win on the bobsleigh track, but for old acquaintance we rescued guide Latvian Sigulda, where there was a training center for Soviet luger and bobsledder. Able to agree - get: Albert Demchenko Alexander Zubkov and crew bring to the coin.

In skiing and biathlon training centers there. However, they are located in Western Siberia, and the competition has to travel to Europe. The result was twofold - on the one hand, the joint efforts of skiers and biathletes produced four gold medals, on the other - would be much better if the Olympians could fully prepare for the games somewhere near Moscow and St. Petersburg. In general, it turned out: in the Tyumen and Novosibirsk region is where they cook, and his athletes win - think of Eugene Dementieva, Svetlana Ishmuratova, Albina Akhatova. And in Central Russia, the worse, and that's is not very. Rescues only "Russian Winter", which gives the opportunity to train under natural conditions.

Contrary to the lack of ice rinks in the country, continue to beat the skaters who train mainly abroad. But here in Soviet times, was created a reserve of strength that it can be frittered away too long. Evgeni Plushenko, Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, Irina Slutskaya, Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin - they all started to ride back to Soviet times. And who will come after them? At first glance, the change they are not visible, and in the future we shine only "eleventh place." It is hoped that at first.

ozhet be admitted to the Olympics fully successful if one of the players took the medals, but they have not succeeded, and "fly in the ointment" turned into a big bucket. Many ckazhut that, he says, snickering millionaires came to play for Torino in the Russian national team jerseys. But we should not throw such stones in the garden players - many if not most, have come to play with a great desire to play for the honor of the country. But football - a team sport and not enough to raise a few decent players. They should be somewhere sygryvatsya even at a young age, but with the rollers have been in the 90 years of misfortune. Need a system, large public investment, the construction of ice rinks, normal salary children and youth coaches, otherwise we will continue to roll down an inclined plane. By the way, the same applies to football.

Take a few examples. Switzerland was not a bad team 50 years ago, but since then her players did not work. In the 90 years the state has taken on the financing of hockey, and the result - there is. Team Alpine confederation became a regular guest in the quarter finals Olympics and world championships, and it has already has victories over practically all the monsters of world hockey. In the 70 years such as the program existed in Finland, and the result is obvious - it has evolved into one of the giants of world hockey. What to say about Sweden, which in recent years stands us more effectively not only in hockey but also in football.

It could be argued that we are talking about rich countries. But a similar picture can be seen in the former socialist Czech Republic. In early 90-ies. Czech hockey players no longer get into the winners, and the development of hockey has undertaken state. The country started like mushrooms after a rain to grow indoor skating rinks, and the result was quick to say - five titles of world champions and Olympic champions Nagano. By analogy with hockey Czechs took the concept and development of football. In the center of Prague, near the central stadium of the Summer ", there are dozens of football fields, where anyone can come. The result is evident - the Czech team has become one of the leaders of European football, and her junior four years ago became the champion of the continent.

A similar program was in Slovakia, but there is a poorer country, so long as the money were found only in hockey. In the center of Bratislava rinks filled out on the street, and kids have the opportunity to two months of the year to combine a walk in the center of the capital with your favorite game. The effect also did not wait - in 2002, Slovakia became the world champions, but the young Slovak ice hockey players - for example, Ladislav Nagy and Marian Gaborik - are among the best players in the NHL, not only in their age group, but also in the best league in the world at large.

Sport has long been a part of the policy, and Russia's top leadership began to understand it. However, it is necessary that this understanding permeates all levels of power, and then the investment in sport will pay for itself, and Olympics Russian athletes will not be equal.


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