Give magic a chance. How did the Beijing Winter Olympics end?

The Winter Olympics ended on Sunday in Beijing with a solemn closing ceremony at the Bird’s Nest Stadium. The Olympic flag was handed over to representatives of the Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, where the “white” Games will be held in four years. During the Beijing Games, President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach once again uttered the word “magic” in relation to the Olympics. Any person who goes to the Olympics, unless, of course, he is a complete cynic, feels in his gut what it is. Whether it’s a journalist, a photographer, a volunteer or a cook in a canteen, the feeling of belonging to something historical makes you work seven days a week, wake up at night in a cold sweat, but look for strength in yourself when they seem to be gone. Why, the magic of the Olympics also captures all those who sit down to watch TV every four years and begin to understand hockey, figure skating, biathlon, and everything else better than many specialists. What can we say about the athletes themselves, who are somewhere then in deep childhood, like this, they got to the screen – and “sunk down”. Some are skiing, some are skating. It doesn’t matter what. It is important that these five Olympic rings, intertwined into a symbol familiar to everyone, are like a guiding star. In the most difficult moments of an athlete’s life, when you want to quit this damned sport and never think about it again, only the Olympic dream gives you the strength to move forward. And the belief that for hard work to sweat and blood you will be rewarded with justice. However, the Beijing Games in many of this faith, of course, knocked down. This, of course, is about the story with Kamila Valieva, which overshadowed a lot, if not all, that happened at the Olympics. If the daily morning briefings of the IOC press service, and then the press conference of its president, were expected almost more than the starts, this is definitely true. the main factors in her business. I want to talk about something else. How did it happen that the press from that part of the world, for which – as they believe – following the laws should be an axiom, fell like a herd of jackals on an athlete, depriving her of the right to justice? Why was it considered fair to punish him as soon as possible before the end of the proceedings? How did one single positive test, in the circumstances of the story with which at the moment nothing is clear at all, made the fire of talk about doping in Russia, seemingly extinguished by joint efforts, flare up like kerosene? Although Valieva, purely physically, could not have had a connection with the “dark” period of Russian sports … Why did three doping cases with representatives of other countries at these Games not give rise to such conversations? Apparently, for the same reasons that the President of the IOC, just watching TV , for no apparent reason, two days before the end of the Olympics, he decided to criticize one of the most successful modern figure skating coaches with conclusions – quoting Bulgakov – “cosmic scale and cosmic stupidity.” Again, at a time when the investigation of the case had not even begun … I do not want to name these reasons. Let’s leave that to the politicians. But the fact is that such things can deprive the Games of this very magic, for which everyone involved in the Olympics is so eager to get to it. But enough about the sad. Especially since the people who made this Olympics possible in the midst of a global pandemic command enormous respect. First of all, of course, these are volunteers who have deprived themselves of their homes for many weeks. After all, they lived in temporary barracks inside the “bubble”, and in order to get into this “bubble” they spent three weeks in quarantine. Like each of us, they yearned for relatives and friends, but they helped so sincerely here at every step that they made you smile when you didn’t feel like doing it at all from fatigue. But what really – no matter how unpleasant the daily PCR test procedure, even these employees tried to carry it out as carefully as possible. And they forced to see behind the “spacesuits” that hid everything except the eyes, not “cosmonauts”, but people. One of the parts of the colorful closing ceremony of the Games was dedicated to the volunteers, directed again, as in 2008, by the most famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Volunteers are the heart of any Olympics. And here in Beijing, they were the Olympics itself. And it is no coincidence that not a single professional artist participated in the closing ceremony. All those who performed with numbers are ordinary people. You can also say volunteers. As for the results of the Beijing Winter Games for Russia, the national team won the largest number of medals among domestic teams at one Winter Olympics in history – 32. And half of the six Russian gold medals was won by skier Alexander Bolshunov. It was he who carried the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee to the arena of the Beijing “Bird’s Nest”. Now this is the first and only stadium in the world, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of two Olympics: summer 2008 and winter 2022. And on it in honor of

Bolshunov (according to tradition, the winners of the ski marathon are awarded at the closing ceremony, even though it was truncated here due to the vagaries of the weather) on Sunday the great music of Tchaikovsky sounded. But no matter how good it is, I really want to believe that in two years at the Summer Games in Paris we will listen to our anthem and see our flag. One world – one family. It was the motto of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. And the thought of how much we want this to be the motto of existence for all mankind in our terribly restless time pierced at the moment when a huge snowflake with a small but bright Olympic flame inside descended into the arena. And against the background of the five Olympic rings that appeared out of nowhere in the center of the arena, like at the closing of the Beijing Summer Games 14 years ago, the adventure of the snowflake ended. The magical flame generated in the ruins of ancient Olympia slowly went out. The games in Beijing are over. But magic – Olympic magic – is still alive. And I want to, no matter what, was alive forever. Give her a chance.

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