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No. 4, 2012

Vladimir Rogov

LONDONS GOLDEN MOMENTS


The Russian team did well at the Summer Olympics in London

From July 27, through August 12, 2012, the 30th Summer Olympic Games were staged in London, and from August 29, through September 9 - the 14th Paralympic Games. Financial support was provided to the Russian athletes by a number of leading Russian companies, including LUKOIL, a founding member of the Russian Olympians Support Foundation.

Return to London

London was hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 for the third time in their history and it was in this city that, in 1908, Russian athletes performed their brilliant debut in the Olympic Games. The 4th Summer Olympic Games, in England, were attended by only six Russian athletes, three of whom won medals: figure skater Nikolay Panin-Kolomenkin won the gold and wrestlers Nikolay Orlov and Alexey Petrov won silver medals.

A century later, London was again generous with medals for the Russian team. Russia came fourth in the medal count, after China, the United States and Great Britain, having won 24 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze medals. In the Paralympics, Russia's 36 gold, 38 silver and 28 bronze medals put it in second place in the total rankings, behind China. It must be said, that London 2012 was the first time the Paralympic Games were fully integrated into the Olympic Games, with the events taking place at the same venues and the preparations made by a single organizing committee.

In this, the most anticipated sports event, almost 15,000 Olympians and Paralympians took part, competing in 26 Olympic and 20 Paralympic sports. Russia was represented by 436 Olympians and 146 Paralympians.

The cream of the cream

On the first day following the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Russia took its first gold medal. Judoka Arsen Galstyan was victorious in the under-60 kg category. This victory was particularly special, since it was Russia's first ever gold medal in this event (not counting the 7 gold medals of the USSR and CIS teams before 1992). Over the next four days of the Games, Russia was again brought gold medals by judokas Mansur Isayev (up to 73 kg) and Tagir Khaybulayev (up to 100 kg). In this same sport, Alexander Mikhailin of Russia (over 100 kg) won silver and Ivan Nifontov (up to 81 kg) - bronze.

The initiative of the judokas was taken up by both the men and the women of free-style and Greco-Roman wrestling teams, who took a total of four golds, two silvers and five bronzes. The golds went to Greco-Roman wrestlers Roman Vlasov (up to 74 kg) and Alan Khugayev (up to 84 kg), and free-style wrestlers Djamal Otarsultanov (up to 55 kg) and Natalia Vorobyova (up to 72 kg).

During the last week of the Olympic Games, the Russian team regularly took medals. Yet its main "medal spurt" was in the last two days of the competitions. On the last day of the Olympics, Russia's athletes set a record for the 30th Games by winning 15 medals in a single day, six of them gold.

London-2012 brought quite a few unexpected results for the Russian team. For instance, for the first time ever, Russia's Olympians did not win a single gold medal in fencing. For the second Games in a row, they were left without golds in weight-lifting and shooting sports. World record-holder in pole-vaulting Yelena Isinbayeva had to be satisfied with the bronze. The competition favorites Russian women's volleyball team did not even get into the semifinals. Only one gold went to Russia's boxers: the best in the under 81 kg category was Yegor Mekhontsev.

At the same time, the Russia men's volleyball team won gold for the first time (if one does not count the USSR volleyball team) and the men's national basketball team won bronze, their first medal ever. Nina Vislova and Valeria Sorokina from Russia won the doubles Olympic bronze for the first time in the history of the Games. Alia Mustafina won on the bars in artistic gymnastics, bringing Russia its first gold medal in this discipline since the 2000 Games. Also for the first time since 2000, Russia won the diving gold - the top medal being delivered by Ilya Zakharov with his dives from the 3-meter springboard.

In total, Russia won one more gold in the London Olympics and nine more medals altogether than it did in Beijing.

Russia's Paralympians, who won 102 medals in the 2012 Games, were represented in 12 sports. The team did best in athletics and swimming. The athletes forged ahead compared with their results in Beijing in 2008, when they won only 3 gold medals, 2 of these by the team's current standard-bearer Alexey Ashapatov. The 19 medals in 2012, however, speak for themselves. By the way, Ashapatov himself again took gold medals in shotput and discus throwing, breaking his own world records in the process.

Again, a substantial proportion of the medals came from judo, power lifting, table tennis and archery. The Russian Paralympic heroes included the men's football team, which won gold. In the final game, they won with a score of 1:0 against the previous title-holder, the Ukrainians.

The 2012 Games, held under the slogan "Inspiring a Generation," were an outstanding sports event. The Olympics and Paralympics broke all attendance records. The next Olympic Games will be hosted by Russia: in 2014, the 12th Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi.

Next comes Sochi-2014

In July 2007, at a session of the International Olympic Committee, the host city for the Winter Olympics 2014 was named. The winner was the Russian resort of Sochi, which outdid such serious challengers in the competition as Salzburg (Austria) and Pyongchang (Korea). LUKOIL provided financial assistance to the Sochi-2014 Bid Committee Fund for organizing the work to promote Sochi as a candidate city for holding the 12th Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

In the spring of 2009, large-scale construction began of Olympic facilities in Sochi. Under the Sochi-2014 plan, 11 new sports facilities are to be built, grouped in two compact complexes. All the Olympic facilities will be less than an hour's travel from one another. Construction is due for completion in 2013.

It is forecast that 2500 athletes in more than 90 events will come to the Games in Russia. The 2014 Games will be the first Winter Olympics to be fully integrated with the Paralympics. The holding of the 2014 Olympic Games will allow a mighty international winter sports center to be created, where sportsmen from Russia and neighboring countries, with an aggregate population of over 200 million, will be able to train. The Games will also be an excellent incentive for further social and economic development of Russia.

LUKOIL and the Olympic movement

Support for national Olympic teams and individual athletes occupies an important place among LUKOIL's numerous sponsorship activities. For many years, the Company has been the official partner of the Russian Olympic Committee.

The first agreement with the Olympic Committee was signed back in 2001, when the Company became an official partner of Russia's Olympic Committee. In 2005, LUKOIL decided to assist the Russian Olympians Support Foundation and became one of its founders.

The Foundation provides assistance to individual athletes of Russia's teams in Olympic sports, thus allowing the future champions to concentrate on preparing for the Olympic Games and achieve top results. Also, in conjunction with the Russian Olympic Committee, the Foundation allocates special financial bonuses to all Olympic Games medal winners.

Nor does it forget Olympic medal-winners who have reached pensionable age: there are special programs of support for them. Over the last three years, the Foundation has also paid grants to specialized children's and young people's Olympic reserve schools and this practice will be continued in the future.




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Oil of Russia, No. 4, 2012
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