Russian athletes won 5 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze medals.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, friends. I wish you all welcome and I am happy to see you all here in this beautiful hall.
The purpose of this meeting is very simple. I want to congratulate you on your good results at the Winter Youth Olympics.
Fifth place in the gold medals tally and second place for the total number of medals is a result that demonstrates your good potential and shows that you are our future hope. Our fans therefore see each of your victories as laying the ground for future triumphs.
I am sure you will tell me now about the events that took place. People usually talk about luck, but at the same time, we know that in high level sport there is always a lot of hard work involved, and this is the case with the Youth Games too, for even though you are still very young, you have put in tremendous effort. You know from your own experience what needs to be done and how, and what results these efforts bring in the end.
Your results are your personal achievements, of course, but they are also the results of your families and coaches. In short, they are the results of a team effort, achieved with the support of your parents, families, and friends. I hope that you have shared the joy of victory with them.
“Each of you has many fans around the country, a huge number of people who are with you, feel proud of you, and hope that your excellent performance at the Youth Olympics will continue with brilliant victories at the adult level at the Olympic Games and other big competitions.”
But the most important thing I want to say again is that each of you has many fans around the country, a huge number of people who are with you, feel proud of you, and hope that your excellent performance at the Youth Olympics will continue with brilliant victories at the adult level at the Olympic Games and other big competitions. School is where the ground for future victories is laid, and our country’s past victories were also the fruit of the efforts made during school years.
I hope that the training base you have been given will prove its quality and worth. Our country is working hard to promote sport now. For me, it is a happy occasion every time I see a new sports facility appear, be it a huge Olympic stadium or other complex facility costing billions of rubles, or just small courtyard sports installations and equipment. All of it helps to build our country’s sporting future and prepare the road for our victories. You can therefore rest assured that the authorities will continue to invest big money in sport and in promoting physical culture and developing all manner of sports skills. I hope that business will continue investing just as much money too, if not more, given that it also has an interest in having a healthy country.
You all have new starts ahead, the most important of which is the 2014 Olympics. There is time to train for the Olympics. I hope that some of you, at any rate, will be able to compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. But for those who do not make it to the Sochi Olympics, life does not end there, and there will be new Olympics and new competitions ahead. It is a great pleasure to see you, our young athletes, here today.
I congratulate you sincerely. You have done a great job. Thank you very much, and thank you very much to your coaches, too. Thank you to everyone who took part in your training.
I wish you new victories and all the very best.
Friends, what can I add? First of all, I agree completely that experience is invaluable. I am sure that you will have both victories and defeats ahead of you in life, because life is not always about winning, but sometimes about losing, too. But this experience is absolutely essential in order to reach an even higher level. You are already good athletes, world-class athletes, even though you are still young.
“You can therefore rest assured that the authorities will continue to invest big money in sport and in promoting physical culture and developing all manner of sports skills.”
You are already part of the world’s sporting elite, but you do not yet have what distinguishes top athletes from beginners – experience. Every opportunity, be it the Youth Olympics or other international competitions, adds to your experience, tempers your determination and trains your abilities. I am sure that this will eventually all produce the desired results. You are already doing well and I am sure that you will do even better in the future.
The second thing I want to say is that a short time will pass and you will be competing in adult competition, but you will never forget this first competition and taste of victory because it is usually the first experiences that produce the strongest emotions. I hope that the Youth Olympics in Innsbruck have given you now this taste or at least hint of the future victories that our country hopes to see from you.
I wish you great success, success in your studies too, for this is part of overall success. You have all of life ahead of you yet, and this includes the need for proper studies.
Once more, we are proud of you. You have done well and I congratulate you all.