Moscow has been presented with the 2016 national prize in physical fitness and sport in the Russian Region category.
“This prize goes to Moscow today, and I think it is absolutely justified, as Moscow athletes truly displayed outstanding results, both at the winter Olympics in Sochi, and also in Rio, by winning the bulk of gold medals, even though they do not make up the majority of the Olympic team. And this is surely the result of tremendous efforts by athletes, coaches and the whole infrastructure of Moscow, which operates both for mass sport and high-achievement professional sport,” Sergei Sobyanin said at the awards ceremony. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, athletes representing Moscow won 24 gold medals, which accounts for 45 percent of the total gold medal count won by the Russian Olympic team.
The Mayor of Moscow emphasised that it is crucial not to support top-achievement sport alone, but that efforts should be taken so that residents begin to be drawn to mass sports and to take them up. "As much as a third of Moscow residents engage in fitness and sport regularly. In recent years, over 6,000 facilities have been commissioned, from tiny ones like workout grounds to the world’s largest stadiums like Spartak and CSKA. We spoke about Dynamo today, and I hope that in the coming years Dynamo will return to its historical site, to its central stadium, the construction of which is in full swing. I am confident that next year our athletes will be exploring the new Luzhniki arena, and Luzhniki as a whole will once again become a world class cluster," Mr Sobyanin said.
According to the Mayor, owing to the modernisation of the sports infrastructure, the city is more and more often becoming a venue for large international competitions: “We host dozens of such events every year. This year we have hosted the world rowing, modern pentathlon and ice hockey championships, and now we are preparing for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Thus the international athletic calendar of Moscow is filled up.”
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, in turn, noted that whereas in 2008 the sport development programme had about 35 regions participating, currently it engages 85 constituent entities. “All the progress of Russian sport in big sport, in promoting mass physical fitness and mass sport, is only possible provided all the regions of the country accept physical fitness and sport as a priority for their development,” he said.
The national prize in fitness and sport is awarded annually. Contenders pass through a complex multi-stage selection system, and the final decision is taken by members of an expert council. The prizes are awarded in the following categories:
—Pride of Russia: best male athlete, best female athlete, best coach;
—Hope of Russia: best athletic school, best organisation of adaptive sport;
— For Service to Sport (for a contribution to the development of sport and fitness);
— Solidarity in Sport (for strengthening international relations in sport);
— Russian Region (for contribution to the development of sport): the best constituent entity of the Russian Federation;
— An Epoch in Sport (for long years of work for the sake of sport in the country);
— Overcoming (for a contribution to adaptive sport): best male athlete, best female athlete, best coach;
— Athletic Parnassus (for contribution to propagating fitness, sport and healthy lifestyles): best journalist, best sports print publication and media product;
— Athletic Facility of Russia: best sport facility;
— For Contribution to Promoting Fitness and Sport in Rural Areas: best organiser of fitness and athletic events.
The following factors were weighed when selecting a winner in the Russian Region category:
— number of Olympic, Paralympic and Deaflympic medals;
— hosting comprehensive international and national athletic events;
— the level of the athletic reserve: places won by the teams at the national youth and student competitions, and the Russian Universiade.
The capital city’s sports branch has powerful material, technical and human resources. Moskomsport ensures of the development of 123 sports, including 51 Olympic, 46 non-Olympic and 26 sports for people with disabilities. In 55 sports, substitutes are trained for the national team.
The title of Master of Sport is held by 1,885 Moscow athletes, 501 of whom are Masters of Sports international class, and 163, Merited Masters of Sport.
The training of athletes is carried out by three fitness and sport associations, 30 athletic schools, 36 athletic schools of the Olympic reserve, four centres of athletic training, three sport clubs, four Olympic reserve colleges, four sport and education centres as well as the Sparta fitness and sport college.
The material and technical base of the city comprises:
— 22 stadiums;
— 3,617 gyms;
— 8,239 surface facilities;
— 315 swimming pools, including 20 to 50 metre long pools;
— 28 training grounds (12 athletics and nine football training grounds);
— 12 velodromes (cycling facilities);
— 71 facilities for shooting sports;
— a rowing canal in Krylatskoye;
— 51 indoor sports facilities with artificial ice;
— nine Alpine skiing slopes.
To ensure conditions for quality preparation of Moscow athletes for the biggest Russian and international competitions, an experimental Team Moscow was set up.
As of 2016, Team Moscow has 459 athletes: 165 athletes in 28 summer Olympic sports, 206, in 13 winter Olympic sports, and 88 athletes in 14 Paralympic winter and summer events.
All the athletes of the experimental team are listed on the Olympic and national teams of Russia, and the main centralised training is conducted as part of the national teams. Moskomsport envisions additional measures of scientific, medico-biological and psychological support of athletic training, as well as athlete rehabilitation. Athletes’ health during their preparations for competitions is monitored by the Sports Technologies Centre of the Moscow City Sports Committee.
Today, 4,473 Moscow athletes are members of the Russian national teams, or about 22 percent. The capital city is represented in Olympic sports by 2,626 people (23 percent). As of 31 August 2016, Moscovites won 2,395 medals, with 1,667 of them in Olympic sports.