The 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was held from June 15-18 both online and offline. The panel session “Sport Without Borders: New Scenarios and Formats” took place on June 17. Dmitry Chernyshenko (Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation), Igor Levitin (Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairperson of the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sports) and Oleg Matytsin (Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation) addressed the session offline. Gao Zhidan, Deputy Minister of the General Administration of Sport of China and Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, made his address via video.
Zhang Jian, president of Beijing Sport University, was invited to attend the session online and delivered a speech on Value of Sport for Greater Solidarity and Better Cooperation. He said that as an important force for building a community with a shared future for mankind, sports represent our pursuit of peace, solidarity and progress. Today, profound changes unseen for a century coincide with the biggest pandemic of the century. Human beings are in need of communication, understanding, exchanges and cooperation more than ever. Through sports, the whole world can unite together regardless of nationality, race, color, language and gender. As a landmark of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, China’s sports industry has offered Chinese wisdom and experience to the Olympic Movement across the world. The two Olympic Games in Beijing opens a new chapter in the development of sports globally. Beijing, a “Dual Olympic City”, serves as a vivid example of the integration of Olympic spirit and the Chinese culture. As a universal language beyond borders, sports serve as a bridge of China-Russia friendship and people-to-people exchanges. During the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the two heads of state jointly announced the official launch of the Years of Sports Exchanges between China and Russia in 2022 and 2023, which is the first of its kind. In recent years, the two countries have strengthened exchanges and cooperation in sports and brought positive energy and new elements into the international sports cooperation through joint action, which showcases the value and strength of sports. Zhang Jian noted that with the official launch of the Years of Sports Exchanges between China and Russia, sports will inject more energy into China-Russia relations. New progress in the friendly cooperation between the two countries will bring our people closer and usher in a new chapter for our shared future.
The session was moderated by Tinatin Kandelaki, Deputy Director General of Gazprom-Media Holding. A number of guests were invited to deliver speeches. They were Irina Viner-Usmanova (Chairperson of the Commission of Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on Physical Training and Promotion of Healthy Lifestyle; President of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation), Dmitry Svishchev (Chairperson of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports), Marcos Diaz (Chairperson of the 8th session of the Conference of Parties to the International Convention Against Doping in Sport) and Joël Bouzou (President of the World Olympians Association), as well as governors of states (regions), special representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on International Sports Cooperation, the president of Russian Triathlon Federation and general producers of Russian TV channels.
Representatives and experts from the Union of Chinese Students in Russia, Public Council at the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, Russian sports clubs, Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health and the Office of Aide to the President of the Russian Federation exchanged their opinions on China-Russia sports exchanges, sports cooperation of BRICS and SCO and other domestic and international sports affairs.