The Olympiad chess players participated in “National Cross-Country Race”
Chess players from Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Malaysia and Vietnam as well as 2 thousand citizens of Khanty-Mansiysk participated in the race.
On behalf of FIDE, that unites national federations from 170 countries, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the President of the World Chess Federation, greeted the runners: "When Ancient Greeks organized Olympic games, they used to say: sport is a fusion of strength and intelligence. Today, on this Sunday morning, Ugorian land united force, healthy spirit and mind that was multiplied by the participants of the Olympiad. Let me once again extend my gratitude to the citizens and the government of the Okrug – all who took part in the preparation of the World Chess Olympiad. A lot of participants who came to Ugra have been playing in this tournament on a regular basis since 1970. They all say that this Olympiad is the best one in the history of Chess Olympiads. The chess players are warmly welcomed here and a friendly atmosphere is created here for them. Today, we all saw that all people in Khanty-Mansiysk are not only kind but they also love sport”.
Besides Khanty-Mansiysk, the “National Cross-Country Race” was also held in many other Russian cities including Surgut and Megion. Thousands of fans of a healthy lifestyle were racing all over the country.
According to the director of the Physical Education and Sports Department of the Autonomous Okrug Viktor Maigurov, the "National Cross-Country Race" is held in Ugra for the second time with races for 1000, 2000 and 4000 meters, as well as mass start. People of different ages participated in the festival, the youngest participant is 2 years old and the oldest one will soon celebrate his 86th birthday.
Having run one kilometer distance, Janis Isakov, the Latvian grandmaster, shared his impressions with reporters. He said that there are similar sport events in Latvia, too, that, as in Ugra, draw attention of thousands of people. Today is the rest day in the Olympiad schedule and the players decided to devote it to the cultural and educational activities. Thus, in the afternoon the team of Latvia will go to the river walk to the place of confluence of Ob and Irtysh.
The Women's team of Estonia also participated in Khanty-Mansiysk “National Cross-Country Race.” Its representatives noted that such a sport event during the Chess Olympiad invigorates and allows them to get distracted from chess battles. Even the cool weather did not scare Baltic chess players, because they are used to it.
The national team of Haiti was not involved in the mass race but actively supported the runners. They were prepared to the Ugorian weather- some of them were wearing winter hats.