#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR.The solemn opening ceremony of the Nornickel Curling Cup international tournament was held at the Taimyr ice arena. Its main event was Ilya Averbuh’s show program and the famous figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva’s performance. The guests shared their impressions on Norilsk and Dudinka.
Taimyr and Norilsk residents, who are looking forward to the traditional Arctic Curling Cup all year long, never miss the opportunity to enjoy famous athletes visit. For little Dudinka, this is a truly grandiose event. And the opening ceremony adds vivid impressions.
Every time the tournament organizers prepare a surprise for fans and athletes. This time the guests and participants of the Nornickel Curling Cup were fascinated by Evgenia Medvedeva’s performance: spotlights, soul-stirring music and a thin figure on the ice. Together with the famous figure skater, more than 70 pupils of local sports schools took part in the ceremony. As Ilya Averbuh later admitted, it was important for him to involve those guys.
“One of my tasks as a director was to involve as many children as possible who go in for sports in Dudinka and Norilsk. I think it’s a big motivation for them. And it is a great pleasure for us to work with the guys. The ceremony went great. We continue to keep the bar high”, said the show director. “I am proud that for the second year in a row I have been invited to head the tournament opening ceremony. Moreover, our cooperation with Nornickel is expanding. Last year in Norilsk, with the support of the company, The Nutcracker New Year’s performances were held, they were attended by a huge number of city residents. It pleases me too. And now we have arrived in Dudinka during the warmer season. Norilsk is becoming a home”.
It’s Evgenia Medvedeva’s first time beyond the Arctic Circle and she was impressed by Dudinka, where it was quite sunny.
“It was great to see a large number of children. It is clear that they are interested in sports. I hope that after today’s event they will be inspired and will devote even more time to physical education – no matter what it is: figure skating, biathlon or curling. I hope we will hear their names in the big arenas in a few years”, said the two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion.
The only thing that Evgenia Medvedeva regretted was that the space of ice left from the curling tracks in the Taimyr arena did not allow her to turn around in full force and show all her skills to the northerners. And maybe at the next Arctic Cup it would be nice to have a full-scale ice show after the end of the tournament.
“Agreements have already been reached that in 2023, immediately after the end of the tournament, there will be a figure skating big gala show, in which Evgenia and also my team will take part”, Ilya Averbuh revealed some secrets.
The guests made sure that the development of sports in the North is of great importance, having also been on an excursion in the Ayka sports hall.
In addition to Ilya Averbuh and Evgenia Medvedeva, biathlete Anton Shipulin, a six-time winner of the world championships, the owner of the Small World Cup in the mass start standings, the absolute champion of Europe among juniors – 2008, as well as Matvey Eliseev, the bronze medalist of the 2019 World Championship in the relay, 2016 European Mixed Relay Champion, 2020 European Sprint Champion left their wishes on the special wall in the sports hall. Skier Sergey Ridzik, bronze medalist of the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2022 Winter Olympics in ski cross, was another guest at the Arctic Tournament.
“The building is so large that from the outside it seems that it is an ice palace. It’s great that such modern sports facilities appear in Norilsk”, Ilya Averbuh shared his impressions. “I really like the city – it’s so clean and original… Part of Norilsk echoes St. Petersburg in terms of architecture”.
Sergey Ridzik appreciated the conditions that are created for sports in Ayka. According to him, he saw very few such objects not only in Russia, but also in other countries. He was especially impressed by the locker room for athletes with a Canadian cedar sauna and Jacuzzi.
“I also asked if they would build a climbing wall here. They said the issue is being worked on. Let’s hope that this kind of sport will also appear here, and both athletes and ordinary city residents will be able to practice it”, Sergey Ridzik said. “I would like to see more such centers in all cities, not only in those ones where Nornickel operates. Norilsk people are lucky”.
The famous athlete came to the tournament from Elbrus, where Russian skiers are now training. A native of Monchegorsk admitted that the weather in Dudinka did not surprise him too much. But the opportunities that the Arctic gives people – did. Including for the development of sports.
“In our country they say that space should be explored. And on the way to Dudinka, I thought: “Why space? It is this region that needs to be developed”, Sergey Ridzik shared his thoughts. “It’s been my first time at the Yenisey. I’ve attended curling competitions, carried a torch. I have already done this at the festival of the North in the Murmansk region, and here the tradition continues. That’s great! I am inspired by this. Today is such a busy day. I didn’t notice it was already half past eight in the evening. It all went like a fairy tale”.
The remoteness of the territory for people who want to achieve sports heights in their lives does not play any role, according to him.
“In Monchegorsk, many did not believe in me”, said Sergey Ridzik. “But I broke free and achieved high results. Sport gives everyone a chance. Therefore, it is important that people see various sports representatives and understand what can be achieved”.
This opinion is shared by the two-time bronze medalist of the world championships Matvey Eliseyev, who conducted biathlon lessons for everyone. He has already been to Norilsk, but it’s been his first time at a curling tournament.
“The first master class was with Anton Shipulin. I was his junior coach, assistant. In fact, everyone is interested in shooting. Of course, not everyone succeeds the first time. But there were those who shot well. Some of those guys trained together with my wife – a former Norilsk citizen. We had a very good workshop. Everyone shot, took part in relay races. I really liked it!” admitted Matvey Eliseyev. “As for curling, maybe it’s not the most active game, but it is very intellectual. I think in this concern, there is some connection with biathlon. By the way, it was news to me that the ice for curling should not be smooth, but with pimples. It was very interesting. And of course, the ice drift on the Yenisey struck”.
Earlier, we told about the tournament opening ceremony in Dudinka.
Text: Elena Popova, Photo: Marina Peshkova