A: 80 medals was our preliminary target. The third place in the team event is no failure. This result may be considered as B. However, arithmetic cannot reflect the essence of what has happened. For example, the gold by Elena Isinbaeva is just invaluable in all the meanings of the word: her victory has really raised the prestige of our country and all the world wants to communicate with Lena. Foreign journalists say they now associate the modern Russia not only with Putin and Medvedev, but also with Isinbaeva. She has become the real heroine in China.
Of course, we will remember victories by the three-time Olympic champion Buvaisar Saitiev and Larisa Ilchenko who has become our first Olympic champion in the open water. Our beautiful female tennis players Dementyeva, Safina, and Zvonareva have done the impossible. Out track and field athletes have also been successful. In Beijing have appeared new Russian stars, Olympic heroes. This is very important in social aspect, as such “sport icons” are necessary to be an example for parents who send their children to sport.
It’s no use talking of decline of sport in the country, without considering the reasons. Now the sportsmen of the “lost generation” go into action, who grew up in the 90’s, the period where our sport was ruined and our coaches left for abroad and new stadiums were not constructed. Now our sport is getting revived gradually. However, this process is impossible to be completed within a few years! So the third place is a real success.
Yes, our failure in cycling, judo, sport gymnastics is obvious. Shooting and boat racing have been a disappointment too. Our team sports show a decline now. And about 3-5 medals were “taken away” from us by judges, but that’s a usual thing. Soviet Union and Russia has always been refereed in a biased way. A few female athletes have been suspended on a dope suspect. Denis Nizhegorodov has been “taken away” a gold medal with two warnings given to him while on the race walking distance, despite his ideal technique! That’s understandable – no one wants one country to get three gold medals in race walking! Similar thing happened in swimming on the open water. Olympic Games symbolizing nobleness, honesty and sincerity, yet sometimes meanness finds its way there.
Q: Why didn’t our sport officials stand for our sportsmen? We practically have entered no protests and did not argue with referees, unlike Americans, for example.
A: Well, it’s financial “authority” by Americans in the Olympic movement that boots. With McDonalds, Kodak, Visa, Coca Cola sponsoring it, they feel they have the right to dictate their will.
Q: Have the hosts been “helped” to get their medals?
A: No, even considering the fact that China as a host has had opportunity of influencing the referees. People’s Republic China is a real sports power now. They invest money and invite coaches from all over the world and they do not forget their traditional medicine. All that considered, one could not bring oneself to say they have been “helped”. China is only beginning to enjoy the taste and one should expect more surprises from them in the future.