The message reads, in part:
“This prestigious award, established in 2010, is presented to outstanding people who are renowned both in Russia and abroad, and who have devoted their careers and lives to sport.
I note with satisfaction that this year’s laureates include an array of talented athletes, coaches and specialists. It is important that renowned former athletes who value the victorious traditions of national sport and who work to promote the ideals and values of winning are honoured.
I am confident that the ceremony will receive a wide public response, and that the achievements of our victors will serve as a model for the younger generation.”