BRICS Games Kick Off on Russia Day in Kazan

12 June

The opening ceremony of the BRICS Games will take place in Kazan on Wednesday. The competitions will run until June 24, with nearly 5,000 athletes from almost 100 countries participating. On June 12, the opening ceremony will be held at the Ilgam Shakirov Concert Hall of the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Center, followed by the start of competitions the next day.


The Games feature 27 sports disciplines, including acrobatic rock-n-roll, badminton, boxing, belt wrestling, breaking, kayaking and canoeing, rowing, judo, karate, equestrian sports, kuresh (a type of belt wrestling), athletics, table tennis, swimming, diving, sambo, synchronized swimming, wrestling, gymnastics, tennis, weightlifting, wushu, fencing, basketball duel (combining interactive and physical components), football duel (combining interactive and physical components), chess, and rhythmic gymnastics. The competitions will be held at 16 sports venues in Kazan, while the acrobatic rock-n-roll and breaking competitions will take place in Moscow. A total of 387 sets of medals will be awarded.


Initially, it was planned that only athletes from the BRICS member countries would participate in the Games, but later the decision was made to make the competitions open. Applications were received from representatives of 97 countries worldwide.


History of the BRICS Games


The first BRICS Games were held in 2017; prior to that, a football tournament was held in India a year earlier, featuring teams from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, composed of players under 17 years old. In 2020, the competitions were planned to be held in Chelyabinsk, but they had to be canceled due to the coronavirus. In 2022, the BRICS Games resumed in an online format, and in 2023, they took place in South Africa in a traditional format.


On May 2, 2023, during a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Oleg Matytsin, who was then the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation, proposed to host the BRICS Games 2024 in Russia during the year of the Russian state's chairmanship in the organization. On May 17, Putin instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to submit proposals for the organization and conduct of these competitions. On October 2, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed an order establishing an organizing committee for the preparation and holding of the BRICS Games in 2024. Its co-chairs were appointed Vice Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Chernyshenko and Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Igor Levitin.


Complementing the Olympic Movement


On June 22, 2023, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, expressed the opinion that Russia was trying to hold politicized competitions. "The Russian government accuses us of not adhering to political neutrality. At the same time, this same government is trying to organize absolutely politicized sports competitions," noted the President of the IOC. Russian politicians rejected Bach's accusations, stating that the competitions are not intended to be an alternative to the Olympic Games but are aimed at strengthening interstate cooperation. According to Chernyshenko, the BRICS Games not only allow athletes to compete in various disciplines but also strengthen ties between states, promote the exchange of cultures, and are open to all who adhere to the principles of fair play and do not recognize the politicization of sports. In many sports, the Russian national team will be represented by top athletes with experience in major international competitions. For many athletes, the BRICS Games will be the most important start of the year.


"We have the BRICS Games ahead of us, this is a responsible start. Countries will come that can turn a blind eye to the International Olympic Committee's directives. But we are always ready, our task is to go out and win," Olympic gymnastics champion Nikita Nagorny told TASS in an interview, having arrived in Kazan a day before the start of the competitions. Two-time Olympic fencing champion Sofya Velikaya believes that the BRICS Games are an excellent opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage.


BRICS Games Ambassadors and Mascot


In addition to the opportunity to watch the performances of leading Russian athletes, many sports fans are attracted by the large number of well-known personalities who have become ambassadors of the BRICS Games. Among them are Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova, Olympic boxing champion Alexander Povetkin, Velikaya, Olympic diving champion Ilya Zakharov, multiple world champion in rhythmic gymnastics Yana Batyrshina, former football player of Kazan's Rubin and the Turkish national team Gokdeniz Karadeniz.


In an interview with TASS, Zagitova admitted that it is a great honor for her to be an ambassador of the competitions. Zakharov, in turn, expressed the opinion to journalists that the BRICS Games will become a new stage in the development of world sports.


The official mascot of the BRICS Games is Bricsik the leopard.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: zizimao\Pixabay

Based on materials from TASS