The pandemic does not allow saving, including on the preparation of athletes for the Olympics. The government allocated an additional 416 million rubles for the Russian team to participate in the Games in Beijing. And before that, more than one and a half billion had already been spent. MK-Sport has calculated the Olympic expenses.
On the website of the Russian government it is reported that “more than 416 million rubles were additionally allocated for the preparation of the Russian national team.” The need to fund the national team is linked to the pandemic. According to the report, “for the entry of athletes and the transport of sports inventory and equipment, international sports federations are organizing special flights, the cost of which significantly exceeds the market value of similar services.”
In addition, additional costs will go to multiple tests, which athletes will (and pass) regularly during training camps and competitions on the eve of the Olympics. At the beginning of last season, the head of the Russian Ski Federation, Elena Vyalbe, complained about the high costs for tests. In each country, at each stage of the World Cup, the cost is different, and for the participants in the competition it is often overstated.
“In Finland, the test costs 195 euros, in Germany – 25 or 29 euros, but for those who come to the competition – 125, 195 euros. If you count the whole World Cup, from start to finish, then the sum is 523 thousand euros. Where to get that kind of money? This is despite the fact that in Italy it will be made free of charge if you come there for ten days, ”said Vyalbe in November 2020.
Well, or, for example, at the figure skating championship, which starts on January 12 in Tallinn, you will also have to pay for PCR. True, much smaller amounts: 15 euros per test.
At a meeting on preparations for the Games at the Ministry of Sports at the end of last year, the presidents of sports federations reported that expenses were increasing, including for accommodation. The head of the toboggan sports federation Natalya Garth warned that athletes should be accommodated at the World Cup stages one at a time, because if one has a positive text, the rest of those living with it are also quarantined.
The speed skating team suffered exactly this: everyone spent five days in isolation, as several team members were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
So additional costs were needed. Prior to that, according to the Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin, “for a four-year cycle, athletes were provided with everything they need in the amount of about 1.2 billion rubles.”
Moreover, at the end of December, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said that the government urgently allocated another 500 million rubles from the budget “to solve the visa difficulties of athletes for the Olympics.”
Visa difficulties arose mainly among athletes who participated in the North American stages of the World Cup. Since the US Consulate in Russia stopped issuing nonimmigrant visas, and there were also big problems with the non-recognition of Russian vaccines in America. “There are certain circumstances related to the fact that to some countries to participate in the qualifying stage, for example, to America, in order to obtain a visa, you need to fly to third countries where there are visa centers. Therefore, the government urgently allocated almost half a billion rubles so that our collections could fly and receive a visa, ”Chernyshenko said.
Thus, more than two billion rubles have already been spent on preparations for the Games in Beijing. By the way, after Tokyo 2020, the head of the ROC Stanislav Pozdnyakov said that 1.4 billion rubles were spent on preparing athletes for the Summer Olympics. “The cost of one gold medal is 70 million rubles,” he added.