On May 22, 30 days ahead of the 2nd European Games, the photo exhibition “Olympic Belarus: bright pages” opened on the first floor of the Dana Mall shopping and entertainment center. It is organized by BelTA news agency and the National Olympic Committee. The exhibition features Belarusian athletes who became Olympic champions in the Soviet times and Olympic champions and medalists of the contemporary period. The exposition will stay open to all the visitors of the shopping and entertainment center till June 30, 2019.
The opening of the exhibition gathered an extreme amount of Olympic medalists. Representatives of fencing, rowing, athletics, sports and rhythmic gymnastics, freestyle, biathlon, basketball, handball and wrestling – everyone was happy to meet each other, chat and take pictures on the background of the stand with their image.
A welcoming speech was made by the Acting First Vice President of Belarus NOC Viktor Lukashenko: “Our dear athletes, it is an honor for me to stay near you, to look into your eyes and recall the bright moments that you have given us over the years once again. This project is designed to remember our glorious past, to remind you of the present Belarusian sport. A big sports event, the 2nd European Games, starts in Minsk in 30 days. Our exhibition is designed to promote the upcoming sports forum. It is well known that victories in big sport come through hard efforts. Visitors to the exhibition that opened today should know and remember the champions. Your every victory and every new achievement is another contribution to the development of sport in Belarus. I wish strong health and good luck to all the Olympic champions and medalists, impressive wins to Team Belarus at the 2nd European Games”.
BelTA Director General Irina Akulovich said: “You will experience a lot of positive emotions while looking at these photos. It was the same to me. When you look at these pictures, you remember watching the Olympics with a sinking heart, you realize that the victory will be ours in a few seconds, and our athletes on the pedestal will cry and laugh. And of course, we too. These people know what pain, work and overcoming themselves really is. They know what victory is. This is not only their victories, but also ours, because we are always happy to root for our country. The 2nd European Games will produce a lot of new memorable moments of athletic triumph which will replenish the photography archives of BelTA news agency with new images. Let us root for Belarusian athletes at the forthcoming competitions together!”
Lyubov Cherkashina, the gymnast-artist, bronze medalist of London 2012, came to the opening of the exhibition with the whole family. Her one-year-old daughter Vera quickly found mom on the poster and happily pointed with her finger while the star mother shared her impressions: “The exhibition is great. I would like something similar to be held not only on the threshold of the big sports events. I would do it on a regular basis, because new champions and new names appear in our country. After all, physical education is good not only in running, but also when you know who you should strive to run after. I like the idea of the location, everything is concentrated in a walk-through area. The pictures catch the eye, so a lot of people will be able to see them. My dream is to replicate the gorgeous exhibitions on the fences of the Chelyuskintsev Park, to show how sportive our country is.”
The Olympic champion of Seoul-88 swordsman Alexander Romankov was glad to talk with good friends: “I knew what would happen here, but it was very pleasant to see that all our stars had come. Such events are very essential. First, we ourselves are happy to see each other, and secondly, it’s all for the visitors. It’s great that we are friends since those times. The moment that all of us, the medalists of different years, stood together and cut the ribbon – this is ours. Those who will participate and win in the 2nd European Games are also ours. Therefore, we can say only one thing: We root for ours! ”
Sochi 2014 Olympic champion Anton Kushnir is ready to watch 2nd European Games from the stands: “When I was invited to the opening ceremony, I did not expect it to be so large-scale. And I am very glad that the 2nd European Games will be held in Minsk. Such exhibitions are importamt. Today I met a lot of people I didn’t meet for a long time. I was even confused for the first little while. It's great that everything takes place in a public place: everything is open, people are friendly, sympathetic. I am sure that the Games will also be held in a welcoming atmosphere and at a high level. All the test competitions have already passed and I heard the reviews that we are perfectly ready. Therefore, we expect and anticipate. I want to root all the participants and wish good luck.”
On the same day, the NOC of Belarus launched a campaign in support of the Belarusian team at the 2nd European Games – Bright Summer. According to the terms of the campaign one needs to subscribe to one or several of the Belarusian NOC official pages in social networks, post photos made together with the Lesik the Fox mascot, or near sports facilities, or images of any European Games merchandise, and add wishes to the Belarusian team under the hashtags: #яскраваелета, #brightgames, #brightteamby. The first participating photo is taken!