Ice Palace “iceberg” lights of spring sun. 15 thousand tons of steel, built for the winter Olympics, which three years ago took place in Sochi in southern Russia, have become accustomed to the coastal climate. The legacy of the games already used by local residents and guests of the resort. Modern stadiums, which won its gold Sáblíková, and the Czech national team was eliminated in the quarterfinals, they look more organic than wriggling like a snake, the asphalt race track “Formula 1”.
“A few years ago, there has been a vineyard and tea. There were houses, and now the hotels and the stadiums,” said Sergei, boy age 30. According to him, tea was bad, but the grapes were good high on moonshine or chacha, but still a little upset by rapid changes in the appearance of the city.
“Homeowners have moved to a new, modern apartment. In addition, they received substantial compensation for their land. But many city dwellers with nostalgia about how Sochi was before the Olympics” — says a local resident.
Luxurious, although a little local looks the village of near a ski resort. Tasteless shopping centres are worth more as a reminder of the developer’s gluttony than about the neat intervention in mountain landscape, and it is not creating the atmosphere of the Russian Courchevel, which Sochi wants to be.
“Recently came here with a bear cub. Here it is quite normal” — scare the translator Olga French delegation, with which we travel by cable car to the center of biathlon and skiing, “Laura”. It is located on the picturesque slopes of the Psekhako ridge, rolling in the greater Caucasus. It was here athletes with military ranks and fought for the medals at the World military games hosted in Russia.
Participants in camouflage
The army game — the quintessence of all that Russians love most — sports and the army. While doing the army game not a Russian idea.
International military sports Council, a kind of analogue of the International Olympic Committee in camouflage, running for almost 70 years, and the army of the Olympiad is held since 1995. But in these games you can’t find such disciplines as shooting from tanks or running through the trenches. The only unusual disciplines that the founder of the modern Olympics, Coubertin did not dream, this is skydiving, and military and aeronautical pentathlon.
Russia army games in the lead. Athletes with a traditional five-pointed star hold first place for number of medals earned. The Czech team got on the last summer games in the South Korean city of Mungyeong six medals, three of them gold. At the winter games in Sochi, neither Czech, nor Slovak, nor Polish team arrived. The Americans, too.
Army sports without politics
Russian sports, to put it mildly, can not boast of international trust. Because of the doping scandals from the Russian athletes are turning away fans and foreign sponsors. In the summer of last year, the Russian athletes are unable to participate in the Olympics, and also recently, Russia lost the right to hold the world championship on biathlon. The case of the Russian leadership is not better. Now, almost four years Moscow lives under sanctions, and its relations with the West reminiscent of the light version of the cold war.
Therefore, the organizers of military games was probably petrified at the thought that in Sochi, no one will come. But a mass boycott in the style of the Moscow 1980 Olympic games was not. As a result, in Russia there have arrived sportsmen of the countries, which form the backbone of the North Atlantic Alliance: France, Germany, Italy and even skeptical attitude to the Kremlin Finland. The Turkish delegation, albeit modest (after the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet) came and politely saluted, when at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games army sounded the national anthem of the host state.
“The invitation to take part in the games in Russia got all the member countries. We are not aware of specific reasons some of the national team refused to come. But participation is voluntary, and the success of the event does not depend on the number of participating States. The main reason for the low participation, I think, that in 70% of member countries there is no winter. We are not a political organization. Our motto is “Using sports to friendship”,” — said, speaking to reporters, Secretary General of the International military sports Council Colonel Mamby Door of Koit.
Himself Guinean officer allegedly enjoyed a Russian winter in Sochi.
Conspiracy against the sport
The highlight of the winter military games was the biathlon. The audience was recruited from among the skiers, riding on the nearby slopes and attracted by free entrance. Guests could enjoy a sharp struggle. European champion Vladimir Iliev of Bulgaria and Slovenia’s Klemen Bauer was fighting at the Olympic distance with the current world champion in the relay Maxim Tsvetkov, who won this title in Hochfilzen.
“Maxim, come on!” cries on the podium a man of about 50 in ski jumpsuit, with inflatable clapping sticks-sumalee says “tssk”. Alex (the name of elegant skier) flew from Moscow to Sochi with his family. Wife and son skiing, and it hurts.
“We go to Sochi regularly. Good place to skate. Almost like in Europe — he smiles and is closely monitoring the shooting biathletes on the screen. — Do you know what upsets me? The scandal with the doping. Perhaps this is some kind of conspiracy against the whole sport.”
The biathletes don’t really want to talk about the doping scandal. “I don’t know what to say. I do not know. There are rules, there are penalties that must be followed. If someone found a dope and disqualified for two or four years, then everything is fine. But after the expiration of the sentence to discriminate against,” said Bulgarian athlete Krasimir Anev broken Russian.
“What do you think about the principled position of the Czech team on biathlon on the fight against doping and the Russian team?” — I ask the Russian biathlete Matvey Eliseev. “I am an athlete and participate in competitions. What’s going on around sports, does not concern me”, — indifferent meets three times medalist of the Sochi military World games.