About 7 or 8 years ago, the author of these lines saw the material of one of his colleagues, where young talented athletes of Kazakhstan were mentioned, who could become a medalist of the Winter Olympic Games. Time has passed, many of them are indeed the leaders of the national teams in ski and skating sports. Is there anyone behind them?
The correspondent of Delovoy Kazakhstan tried to find out.
It must be admitted that the holding of the Asian Winter Games in 2011 and the Winter Universiade in 2017 gave a great impetus to the development of winter sports in Kazakhstan. Thanks to these international events, young people have become interested in winter sports, funding has increased, some sports have begun to develop in Kazakhstan precisely due to the holding of these sports forums.
Almost 4 years have passed since the Universiade in Almaty, and now the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan states that winter sports need a new impetus. Moreover, it is not necessary for this to hold large international competitions again.
“In winter sports, the situation with the reserve is even worse than in summer. Even in the northern regions, unfortunately, not enough attention is paid to winter species. Therefore, the massiveness in winter sports leaves much to be desired, it is necessary to strengthen the work of the regions. Winter is good in the country, but winter sports are not developing as quickly and well as we would like, many regional akimats do not pay due attention to this, ”said Yelsiyar Kanagatov, director of the sports directorate of the NOC Kazakhstan.
According to the Committee on Sports of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, today 15 763 children are engaged in winter sports in sports schools.
“In order to implement the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan, adopted at the end of 2020, on April 27, 2021, 4 regulatory legal acts on per capita financing of sports sections through the state sports order passed state registration. The Ministry of Culture and Sports has developed draft orders regulating the methodology for calculating, paying and placing a sports order. Since May 1, 2021, the mechanism of the state sports order with the participation of all regions has been implemented through the per capita financing platform. The new approach will solve the problem of the shortage of sports sections and improve the quality of services provided by attracting the private sector. The state sports order applies to all children between the ages of 4 and 17. The costs will be paid in accordance with the established tariff, calculated in accordance with the methodology, taking into account the child's place of residence, the type of sport, the method of providing services (individual or group lessons) and a number of other factors. The functions of the operator of the state sports order are assigned to local executive bodies. Financing will be carried out from the local budget through the redistribution of funds, ”the Sports Committee of the MCS RK reported in response to our request.
The day before, during the General Assembly of the NOC of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the types of sports that are being relied on at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games-2022 in Beijing were named. These are freestyle (mogul and acrobatics), short track, speed skating. Skiing, biathlon and figure skating, where Kazakhstan previously had Winter Olympics awards, did not sound.
“15 000 people involved in all winter sports in the country as a whole is very little for good competition. And here we hope that the recent decisions will make it possible to correct the situation, although there are still a lot of questions on the development of winter sports, ”stated Kanagatov.
As for figure skating, so far there are no athletes of the level of the late Denis Ten and Elizabeth Tursynbayeva, who ended her career, in the country. In a recent scandalous interview for the Russian MatchTV, Elizabeth's mother noted that there are skaters in Kazakhstan, they try, but the level is very low, because there is not enough discipline and parents who would put their hearts into the athletic growth of their children.
Despite the situation, there are young athletes in the country who are able to claim high places in the near future.
“Nadezhda Morozova in speed skating, Anastasia Gorodko in freestyle mogul (she is already an acting bronze medalist of the adult World Championship - Author's note), Sherzod Khoshirbayev in freestyle acrobatics, Valeria Tyuleneva in cross-country skiing,” said Elsiyar Kanagatov.
It is interesting that in luge sports, where Kazakhstan does not have its own track, there are 2 current bronze medalists of the World Youth Championship (under 23 years old) - Andrei Shander and Semyon Mikov. True, it is not yet known whether they will manage to get a license in Beijing.
Of course, one of the main winter sports for Kazakhstan at the upcoming 2022 Olympics is freestyle mogul. Our national team is one of the best in the world in this sport, and now it includes 3 world championship winners - Yulia Galysheva, Pavel Kolmakov and Anastasia Gorodko. Also in the team - ex-World Cup winner Dmitry Reikherd.
The leader of the national short track team is Abzal Azhgaliev. Last season he took 3rd place in the World Cup at a distance of 500 meters. It is important that both in the mogul and in the short track Kazakhstan will be represented by really strong teams, where not only the aforementioned leaders, but also their teammates can claim a good result.
In freestyle acrobatics and speed skating, there are also strong athletes capable of entering the Top 10 at the Beijing Games. It seems that one cannot write off ski jumping and biathlon, where Kazakhstanis can also “shoot” in Beijing. And the performances of our skiers and skiers will need to be closely followed.
And yet, it is worth recognizing that at the moment winter sports in Kazakhstan is developing rather by the forces of enthusiasts, who first of all love their job and raise future champions, no matter what. In the meantime, we wish good luck to all our athletes who are preparing to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. We believe in them and wish you health and victories!