MINSK, 19 November (BelTA) – Great sports achievements have a strong impact on the prestige of the country, Belarus President, President of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the Olympic Assembly of the National Olympic Committee on 19 November, BelTA has learned.
The head of state described sport as a versatile activity, which is part of the economy and reflects the level of the country's technological development. “Besides, sport is the health of the nation, it helps young people develop important personal qualities, it is an instrument of efficient people's diplomacy. Great achievements of athletes have a strong impact on the prestige of the country. That is why we are paying so much attention to this field,” he explained.
The president remarked that the entire sports industry will have to pass a serious test next year, which is the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “It is high time we analyzed preparations for this sports forum and determined what else we can and should do because we want our national team to finally satisfy the expectations of millions of Belarusians. All of us want to see the Belarusian flag hoisted above Olympic facilities in the capital of Japan,” Aleksandr Lukashenko.
He recalled two big conferences which were held last year to analyze the state of affairs in winter and summer sports, to outline development prospects and to give corresponding instructions. “Apart from that, a similar brainstorming meeting was held in April 2019, before the 2nd European Games, to discuss the readiness of the Belarusian team for this large-scale sports event,” the head of state said. “The European sports forum was a success. People in Europe and all over the world are still saying this. Thank you to all the people involved. The Games in Belarus have made a loud statement to the whole world. Our athletes performed very well at home venues. Belarus finished second in the overall medal tally.”
However, the president believes that there are no reasons for self-complacency. A lot has to be done to prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “The biggest sports competitions of this four-year period will kick off in slightly more than six months. The Olympic Games are a different tournament with a different range of sports disciplines and outstanding completion. There is no point in pretending otherwiseю The 2nd European Games are okay, but the Olympic Games are a different universe in comparison with our games, different athletes will compete there,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.