MINSK, 30 August (BelTA) - The journey of the cultural and sports festival "Vytoki. A Step Toward Olympus” ends in Minsk today. All in all, several hundred thousand people took part in the festival еhis year, President of the Belarusian National Olympic Committee Viktor Lukashenko said at the opening of the festival in Minsk on 28 August, BelTA has learned.
"We did everything that we planned. If we look at the statistics, tens of thousands of children and young people participated in the Olympic quests alone across the country. In general, the festival drew several hundred thousands of participants in all regions of our country,” Viktor Lukashenko said. “In the Year of People's Unity and the 30th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee, it is pleasant that this event brought people together. They attended the festival as families, with pleasure, participated in sports events, and enjoyed concerts. There were a lot of competitions and cultural events. People loved it. Therefore, we are satisfied. The project is already ending, but we are thinking about how to summarize this experience and scale it up next year."
The head of the NOC also thanked the co-organizers and local authorities in each of the cities that hosted the festival. All of them tried to give some zest to the festival, to add local flavor, tell about their history and culture.
The festival in Minsk started on 27 August with an excursion program through the historical center - the Upper Town. The Minsk Town Hall hosted the exhibition “The Wheel of Time" of Belarusian artists and an exposition of children's drawings. A roundtable discussed the ways to develop and promote the national and regional brands. In the evening, lovers of classical music enjoyed the concert of organ music by Valery Shmat "My Step Toward Olympus".
On 28 August, the center of attraction was the site near the Minsk Palace of Sports, where cyclists, volleyball players, weightlifters and other athletes demonstrated their skills. Teenagers under 14 went from site to site completing the tasks of the Olympic quest and winning valuable prizes. Maksim Nedasekau, the bronze medalist of the Tokyo Olympic Games, also greeted the festival visitors and urged the children to take part in all the presented sports.
“I have just come here, but I can see that this is a real festival for kids, which means their parents are happy, too,” Maksim shared his impressions with journalists. He admitted that he is now recovering before important competitions, so he will not be able to hold a clinic at the festival. He was eager though to give out autographs and pose for photos with fans and let them hold his medal.
“We are glad that such a significant event is taking place in Minsk as well. The festival popularizes all kinds of sports. Minsk is a sports city. It is of great importance when outstanding athletes give clinics here. Minsk residents have showed a lot of interest in the event. As I see it, people keep coming,” Minsk Mayor Vladimir Kukharev said.
The festival featured a food court, a family recreation zone and the Belarusian brands trade fair. Fans of national souvenirs had a lot to choose from at the fair of handmade products by masters from different parts of Belarus.
The best young singers were named on the main stage of the festival near the Palace of Sports at 17.00. The winners received not only diplomas and prizes, but also the opportunity for further creative development and collaboration with the best teachers of the country.
The concert accompanied by the Belarus Presidential Orchestra under the baton of chief conductor Vitaly Kulbakov featured popular artists at 19.00. The festival was wrapped up with spectacular fireworks at 22.00.
Vytoki is a Belarusian brand that promotes Belarusian national culture, history, traditions, and sport achievements of the country and its regions. The main objectives of the project are to create a common social and educational space, bring together people of different interests and ages, promote regional and national brands, and celebrate achievements in sports, science and art.
The organizers of the Vytoki festival are the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, the Arthaos and BelBrandAudit companies.