#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. For the sixth time, Dudinka has become the center of attraction for famous athletes: on May 26, the games of the international Nornickel Curling Cup tournament started at the Taimyr ice arena. Traditionally, the competition was organized by the Russian Curling Federation with the Nornickel’s support.
Northerners and star athletes witnessed an impressive, bright opening ceremony of the only curling tournament beyond the Arctic Circle, which was attended by the authorities, including the Krasnoyarsk region sports minister Denis Petrovsky, the Taimyr head f Evgeny Vershinin, as well as the Nornickel Polar Branch acting director Oleg Eliseyev.
“It is wonderful that for the sixth time the international competitions have been held in Dudinka at such a high level. I am sure that this tournament will not be an exception either – it will be remembered for its brilliant games, the joy of victories, the fans’ emotions and will once again contribute to this vibrant sport popularization. The Nornickel company traditionally supports the development of sports not only in the territories where it operates, but in the country as a whole. The company regularly acts as the main partner of many outstanding sporting events. Participation in the preparation for the Olympics in Sochi, the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, the Night Hockey League events, partnership with the Russian Ice Hockey Federation is not the only contribution of Nornickel to big-time sports. The International Curling Tournament is also one of the brightest examples of promoting the development and popularization of the sport of high achievements. I wish good luck to all athletes. I am sure that the determination and the winning mindset will certainly bring you a well-deserved result and unforgettable emotions to the fans!” Oleg Eliseyev addressed the audience.
With a full house, the audience greeted the grandiose hour and a half show directed by the famous figure skater Ilya Averbuh with a standing ovation. Creative dance groups, Norilsk figure skaters, gymnasts – 100 people in a whole united and made real the choreography master’s idea.
Ilya Averbuh made a special emphasis on the local flavor: figure skaters and fire show artists performed to the Taimyr indigenous peoples’ songs.
“It is an honor for me to be involved in such a large-scale sports event. I think that we’ve managed to put on a brilliant show. It is important that 90 percent of the show’s artists are the teams of Norilsk and Dudinka”, said the show director.
The headliner of the sports festival was the Russian figure skater, two-time Olympic silver medalist, two-time world champion, two-time European champion Evgenia Medvedeva.
“Thank you very much for the welcome! The audience in Taimyr is warm – it is clear that they have been waiting for us for a long time. I hope that today’s event will serve as a sports inspiration for children”, the figure skater shared her impressions.
The torch relay of the Sixth International Curling Tournament WCT Nornickel Curling Cup took place after the mesmerizing performances. The Olympic Games participant, the 2017 world champion in the relay, the six-time medalist of the world championships Anton Shipulin and the Olympics 2018 participant, the World Championship 2019 in the relay bronze medalist, the 2016 European champion in the mixed relay, the 2020 European champion in the sprint Matvey Eliseyev gave start to the torch relay.
“I can say with confidence that even the Biathlon World Cup is not presented in the way as the curling tournament. The Taimyr and Norilsk residents are lucky to have organizers who are happy to present the large-scale and colorful sports festival every year”, Anton Shipulin emphasized.
Also, during the ceremony, the Junior Nornickel Curling Cup participants were awarded well-deserved medals. Recall that this year the Krasnoyarsk team became the winner of the children’s tournament, having bet the Taimyr-1 team in the final – 10:3. In the match for the bronze medal, the Kuzbass team defeated Taimyr-2 – 10:5.
The results of the Arctic Cup will be announced on May 29 at the closing ceremony.
Recall that one of the main goals of the curling competition is to popularize the Olympic sport among the region inhabitants, as well as to develop the sports infrastructure of the region. Curling in Dudinka is popular among young people. In 2016, a school of this sport was opened in the city. Today, more than a hundred people are engaged in the sports, many athletes represent the region at all-Russian competitions.
Earlier, we reported that a biathlon shooting range had been opened in Dudinka.
Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov