Belarusian athletes want to prepare for important international competitions and the upcoming Olympic Games in a calm atmosphere, without being dragged into politics, Belarusian Honored Master of Sports, the European Games champion in wrestling in Baku and Minsk Vasilisa Marzalyuk said at a working meeting of the Belarusian National Olympic Committee (NOC) on 17 November to discuss the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, BelTA learned from the NOC press service.
“We plan to address the International Olympic Committee on behalf of Belarusian athletes and declare our disagreement with the position of the Free Association of Athletes, whose members call on international sports organizations to strip Belarus' NOC of recognition in the international Olympic movement. Belarusian athletes, who are the leaders of their national teams, want to prepare for the Olympic Games in a calm atmosphere and according to the timetable rather than participate in political debates and face harassment in social networks. For many athletes, including me, the Tokyo Games are the last chance to win medals in the international arena. Calls to boycott and ban Team Belarus from participating in the Olympics are not constructive,” Vasilisa Marzalyuk said.
The participants of the meeting agreed that if the initiative to address the IOC is supported by the majority of Belarusian sportsmen, it should be endorsed.
The agenda of the meeting also included issues related to the preparation for the upcoming Games in Tokyo and 24th Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022, the psychological climate in teams and preparation for important competitions amid the pandemic.