nCa News and Commentary
Ashgabat, 29 September 2017 (nCa) — In a grand ceremony Thursday, President Berdymuhamedov conferred awards and titles on the medal winners and coaches of Ashgabat 2017. They were also given automobiles and cash prizes in recognition of their achievements at the Games.
[The complete list of the recipients of awards and titles, and cash prizes and automobiles has been published by the print media of Turkmenistan. Among them, there are four foreign coaches from Germany, Russia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.]
Before the award ceremony, the Turkmen president made a speech. Here are the main points:
- The Turkmen national team won 245 medals at the Ashgabat 2017 – 89 gold, 70 silver, and 86 bronze. This shows rapid development of sports in Turkmenistan.
- The Games proved to be a historic event and they carry special significance for our peace, progress, development.
- I urge all of you to develop the Olympic movement, strengthening peace and mutual understanding among the people of the world.
- Physical culture and sports are not just about the physical well being of an individual – they alwo improve the worldview, and assist in the harmonious socio-economic and cultural development of our state.
- We consider physical culture and sports as a powerful resource, consolidating our society, inspiring us to greater achievements. As such, this is a priority area of our state policy.
- Our state programmes are aimed at the creation of sports infrastructure and training of athletes. We have invested considerably in these areas, especially in Ashgabat and Awaza.
- I want to note with pride that the Declaration of the International Sports Congress “Asian Games 2017: International Sport Cooperation for Peace and Progress” was adopted as a document of the 71st session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. And at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council held in Switzerland, the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Declaration “On Encouraging the Valuable Contribution of the Olympic Teams of Refugees to the Promotion of Peace and Human Rights” was unanimously adopted.
- I want to thank the volunteers, who helped make Ashgabat 2017 a great success. I fully support the active participation of the youth in the political, economic, cultural and sporting life of the country.
- Physical and spiritual health strengthens a person’s confidence. Our boys and girls need from childhood to develop a habit of doing sports, to live a long life and be healthy. We look forward to our youth in the successful implementation of the great goals set before us, and they can be achieved only through creative work, physical and spiritual perfection, a firm belief in victory and success.
- Ashgabat 2017, which united millions of people, increased Turkmenistan’s prestige in the international sports arena, vividly demonstrating our tremendous contribution to the establishment of peace and friendship on the planet.
- In Turkmenistan, physical education and sports will continue to develop at an accelerated pace. I am firmly convinced that at international competitions our youth will make a worthy contribution to the multiplication of the sports authority of the country.
It took Turkmenistan less than twenty-four hours from the closing ceremony of Ashgabat 2017 to thank and reward the winners of the Games and their trainers. —– This was the right step to secure the legacy seamlessly.
The legacy we are talking about is composed of a number of elements:
- The athletes and sportsmen who have shown great potential and could certainly bring more prestige and honour to Turkmenistan in the future sporting events
- The coaches and trainers who have proved their ability to unpack the vast talent of the athletes of Turkmenistan
- The thousands of volunteers who have reasonable knowledge of some foreign languages and can interact with foreigners confidently
- The sports management team with freshly honed skills in dealing with huge and unexpected challenges
- The infrastructure that can easily be used to host even larger sporting events
- The entire government machinery – from the senior most officials to the fresh entrants – who contributed in so many ways for the preparation and conduct of the Games, and in doing so, exercised remarkable patience and extraordinary hard work
This is enormous legacy and it must be secured and augmented. The first step has been taken already by rewarding generously the winners and trainers.
One way of building on this legacy is to continue hosting international sporting events at regular intervals. We believe that there are talks already to host a sizeable sporting event as early as next year.
Sports cannot be separated from the other aspects of life. The holistic approach that underpins the foreign policy of Turkmenistan should be at play here.
Many of the countries that participated in the Games are good trading partners of Turkmenistan. There are many more that have the great potential to partner with Turkmenistan in different areas. The contacts made during the Games should be used for setting in motion the new processes.
Of the hundreds of foreign journalists there were many who demonstrated their objectivity and integrity through their positive reporting. There is the need to keep in touch with such journalists.
It would be useful to establish a high power commission to determine how best to preserve and expand the legacy of the Games. /// nCa