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Tbilisi mixing sports with politics2010-11-30 21:39
Last Saturday, Georgian sports org-men delegation outplayed their Czech colleagues by a score of 26:21. The platform for their competition was 39th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee held in Serbian capital. The stake was the future of the European Olympic Youth Festival 2015. Due to the strong support of the former USSR, Georgian officials left no chance to their opponents. With a majority of five votes, Tbilisi was selected as the capital of the upcoming youth games. Russia contributed to Sakartvelo delegation's triumph.
It was Czech Brno that competed with the Georgian capital for holding Youth Olympic Games in 2015. The voting in Belgrade held for 49 delegates from national Olympic committees of the Old World countries became a serious test for the Georgian sports organization men. According to President of the Georgian NOC Gia Natsvlishvili, everything was done to represent Tbilisi in the favourable light and convince the participants of the assembly of Sakartvelo government's ability to build the necessary infrastructure in four years. The support of the head of the state was also required. Mikheil Saakashvili sent a video message to representatives of the European Olympic movement.
"We are proud of the Georgian Olympic sportsmen. We have got 43 Olympic champions, over one thousand European and world champions. Within the last several years, we have built over a thousand sports facilities and increased the sponsorship of this sphere. The main thing for us is a creative approach", - Sakartvelo leader tried to persuade European sports officials.
Still, this could be not enough. That's why, Gia Natsvlishvili decided to secure himself and obtain the support of some of the heads of Olympic committees, primarily of the former Soviet Union countries, Russia as well. The day before the decisive voting he held a workshop with his Russian colleague Alexander Zhukov and Moscow guests decided to cooperate with their former fellow countrymen.
"We would be glad to support Tbilisi's bid for holding summer European Youth Olympic Festival in 2015. Sports events of such level increase the interest in sports and the level of sports development in the country; they bring the Olympic movement participants closer to each other and help develop and preserve Olympic values. Sports should always stay beyond politics", - stated the head of Russian Olympic Committee.