Nizhny Novgorod hosted regional competitions on May 5 – 7. 201 medals were awarded in three days. The most important prize, however, will be the participation in the World Children’s Winners Games for those who showed best results at the regionals.
For the second year in a row, the regional competitions take place in Nizhny Novgorod. This year, the recreational center “Lastochka” opened its grounds for the event. “Gazprom Transgas Nizhny Novgorod” was its main sponsor. “Nizhegorodsky Research Center of Oncology”, which has been sponsoring children with oncological diseases since 2008, organized the regionals.
Among the nearly two hundred people who gathered for the event were young athletes and their siblings and parents. There were lots of balloons, dancing, drums, engaging chemistry experiments, exciting atmosphere and, of course, smiling faces everywhere! One of the participants, Iliya Kolenik, was celebrating his birthday and during a concert the whole audience, in unison, sang “Happy Birthday” for him. Thus the great celebration of sports began in Nizhny Novgorod.
For three days, children who had overcome life-threatening illnesses, competed in five disciplines: a 60-m run, football, shooting, swimming and chess. Besides athletic events, there were master-classes, concerts and discotheques. Elena Krupnova, the CEO of NRCO greeted the participants with the following words, “The main goal of our organization is raising money to help children get well. And they do get well and we can see those children with our own eyes here. All the participants of the Games have been cured thanks – among other things – to the citizens of our city who care and donate their money for the children’s treatment”.
Vladimir Zhukov, a volunteer and team leader of Team 11, told us what impresses him at the Games the most, “This is my second year at this event and I am amazed by how these children treat each other – not as competitors but as friends. For example, they cheered on the kid who finished the lap in the pool the last. The clapped for him the loudest! The children in my team never say “I”, they always saw “we”. I am in awe of how close-knitted the team is; nobody is shying away from others, nobody feels out of place. It is one big family because everybody knows what the other has had to endure”.
The young athletes are serious about winning, they are actively competing in several kinds of sports. The most popular are football and shooting, nearly every contestant participates in these two disciplines. As a result, 62 medals were given out in football and 32 in shooting. However, there were proud winners in other sports as well. Masha Khvastunova, for example, who had represented the team from Nizhny Novgorod in the Winners Games in Moscow last year, and won gold in running, proved her title this time as well. “I have my heart set on gold and intend to win again this year”, she told us.
Vadim Baranov, 10 y.o., set a real record in earning medals – he won six. He participated in all six disciplines and won gold in four of them. We congratulate all the participants of the regional competitions in Nizhny Novgorod and look forward to seeing these accomplished young athletes in Moscow on June 2 – 4, 2017.