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22 February 2024, 12:46

Opinion: With Olympics losing their appeal, focus is shifting towards local tournaments 

KAZAN, 22 February (BelTA) – With the Olympic Games losing their appeal, the focus is shifting towards local tournaments, Belarusian Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk told the media at the opening ceremony of the Games of the Future in Kazan, Russia, BelTA has learned. 

"The format of the Olympic Games seems to be losing its appeal. Look, no one really wants to host them. Looking at what is happening in the world today, I think such large projects will be replaced by local tournaments," Sergei Kovalchuk believes.

One such example is the Games of the Future that opened in Kazan on 21 February. This is an international multi-sport phygital tournament based on a combination of physical activity, modern technologies and digital environment. All in all, the event has brought together more than 270 teams and more than 2,000 athletes from 107 countries. Belarusians will compete in seven disciplines: phygital basketball, phygital hockey, phygital martial arts, VR cycling, battle of robots, World of Tanks and Dota 2. About 70 of our compatriots are competing in the tournament (some are part of multinational teams). 

The minister noted that Belarus will be bale able to hold such a tournament. Such event requires a lot of space. Theoretically, it could be Minsk International Exhibition Center that is currently under construction. It is slated for launch in 2025 and could become the venue. "The framework has already been established by our brothers, the Russians. We will need to think on the program of the Games since the IT sector is very well-developed in our country," Sergei Kovalchuk added.

Kazan will also host the BRICS Games in June. The competitive program will include about 25 sports. It is expected that the tournament will draw athletes from 50 countries.
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