The world of sport

In sport, even individual disciplines, a team is always needed

Continent Georgy Bryusov

The history of mankind is scaringly repeating itself, there’s no fewer wars and conflicts. But yet there’s a powerful lever arm created and left as a heritage by Ancient Greek Olympia in 7 century BC. Sport is a source of strength, the way to get back the beauty to the world and peace to humankind, our new columnist, “Roskongress” Foundation Deputy Director, Head of the Commission “Sport Dlya Vseh” (Sport for Everyone) of the United World Wrestling (UWW) Georgy Bryusov.

Agrarian revolution broke the natural course of events in which our ancestors’ bodies were fast and adroit because of their main occupations such as gathering and hunting as we were reminded by Yuval Noah Harrari’s books a short time ago. But since those times sport is a single field that keeps a memory of what people were capable of at the beginning of their existence: like swimming fast in order to escape from predators, climbing trees for fruits, stalking prey for weeks. At the same time it became an amazing way to prove superiority without wars and bloodshed, in Olympic Games. Sport sublimates natural aggression and victory becomes a way to get the hormone of happiness in ecological way.

“Man is born in struggle” said the legendary wrestler, triple Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin and it’s hard to disagree with him. Since we are born in fight, we set our goals and try to reach the top. And in this context, sport is one of the brightest and most positive ways of bringing bodily and spiritual perfection, the outburst of emotions and high level of social unity.

Last year was marked by the football World Cup. Perhaps for the first time in many years Russia and the whole world together lived through such a heat of the moment without borders of space and time, problems and controversy, all of us though being so different became a single organism. Many things will be forgotten later in the everyday routine but the memory of being so proud of our country, team, worries and happiness will always be with us same as a new infrastructure of eleven regions. The Club of Russia’s Friends formed by million army of fans from more than fifty countries will stay as well after being emotionally connected to our country thanks to the Competition. And this is the targeted audience, a real middle class forming the public opinion in all of the countries.

In sport, even individual disciplines, a team is always needed. You can’t ever win without a team. In wrestling for example two men are fighting and only one is going to stand on the top of pedestal. But behind the victory stands a tremendous work, efforts and emotions of many different specialists, a long united road leading to this goal.

I came close to understand this important thought with the help of a bright example my teacher Ivan Sergeevich Yarygin gave me. He is an epic Russian hero, mighty, fair and kind hearted. Twice Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling, outstanding trainer built the Russian Wrestling Federation in 1993 on the remnants of the Soviet system. He became initiator and a driving force of the wrestling World Championship in Krasnoyarsk in 1997 and it was the first Olympic level tournament of that level in the new history of the country. He possessed leadership qualities that united people as no one else and there were no impossible missions for his team.

Russian wrestling fell in decline through the lack of attention and inactivity of the former head department of International Wrestling Federation in 2013 and Olympic history of this sport was about to be finished. Wrestlers all over the world heard the call of the International Olympic Committee to upgrade. Comprehensive reforms were done just in a half of the year and Russia took a leading and uniting role in this campaign, acted as an ideologist, moderator and driving force of conversions. Enemies were reconciled for the benefit of the sport. On the 8th of September 2013 Session of the International Olympic Committee returned wrestling to the Olympic program and it was one of the highlights of my life and my colleagues from the USA, Japan, Iran, Turkey, India, Serbia. Team of like-minded people grew into the “United World Wrestling” and that’s how the International Federation is called now.

Rules are required as a condition for the honest competition in games. This makes business and sport consonant. We can see business leaders presenting their projects in economic forums competing in fight for attention but this is a rivalry by the rules. St.-Petersburg International Economic Forum (PIEF) became an event of the planet scale building a special possibility to show the world our openness and readiness to cooperate on the principle of honest competition. At the same time the organizer of PIEF, Eastern Economic Forum and other important events, Roscongress Foundation constantly suggests new formats expanding range of possibilities for communication. SIEF Race debuted in PIEF in 2016 as a run around the Historical Centre of St.-Petersburg. This year it is back again by the multiple calls of the PIEF members. At the same time the high scale of sport events already became traditional for the biggest forums lead by Roscongress Foundation.

Games are evolving with the society. And here we are, the notion already admits the different meanings changing the emphasis. Now the victory over yourself is more important than over anyone else. And perhaps only now the world starts to believe in the words of Pierre de Coubertin who revived Olympics in 1896, “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part”. Now the Sport for All format is dynamically winning the world developing as a commercially successful industry. At the same time Sport for All became an International trend forming a healthy society for countries and one of the priorities of social policy and corporative culture for the biggest corporations. Basically, RZD, Rostec and other big companies build the base for the modern reincarnation of department sport that was a fundament of Victories of the USSR sport team, creating gym club nets at the factories. The meaningful discussion of Sport for All will be a topic of one of the sessions at the upcoming St.-Petersburg International Forum. Sport became fashionable. But we have to do many things more to make it a real life norm. Developing the infrastructure is not an enough condition for that. It is important to spread the right senses, to make real understanding at all levels that sport, education and culture are the three whales of harmonic personal development as the Olympic Charter says. Sport is harmonizing movement, development, poetry of spiritual growth through the perfect body. May be my archetypes are talking in me now connecting me to my great grandfather’s brother, poet Valery Bryusov. This part of my blood is fermenting in me, filling my attitude towards the world with passion. And when it’s hard to move on I repeat like a spell his verse:

         Ahead, my dream, my loyal ox!

         I’m close to you, my whip is heavy,

         I work myself and you do so!

And we won’t stop. This game is to be won. Go up or down. And since we live the game is on.