Krasnodar, 12 September – Yug Times. These days, the All-Russia Children’s Centre Smena (literally, ‘rising generation’) is for the 20th time playing host to the national sports activity known as President’s Contest.
Over 11 million ten-formers from nearly 35,000 secondary schools throughout the country took part in the regional qualification rounds. Of them, 1,800 kids from 150 teams qualified for the finals. The Smena Centre will turn into an Olympic village for three weeks. Among the well-known athletes who came to the President’s Contest to support the young generation was, among others, Maria Kiseleva, a threetime Olympic champion in synchronised swimming. Commenting on the event, she said that it is a festivity that unites not only sports and healthy way of life, but also creativity and intellect.
The opening ceremony of the 20th President’s Contest became the brightest and most rememberable event of the festival. It was then that school delegations from 80 Russian regions – from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad – marched to wild cheers of the spectators. The traditional fire ignition was the core activity of the opening ceremony and a symbol of honest and uncompromising sport fight. The fire was solemnly lit by the Olympic champion in high jump Yelena Slesarenko and the schoolgirl from Vladikavkaz Alina Kondrashova. The festive evening was crowned by a series of bright fireworks.
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