Russian Sports Minister Brings Curtain Down on World Athletics Champs© RIA Novosti. Anton Denisov
Vitaly Mutko (in the left)© Alexey Filippov
- Moscow 2013 Wrap: Day 8 at the World Athletics Championships
- Moscow 2013 Wrap: Day 7 at the World Athletics Championships
- Moscow 2013 Wrap: Day 6 at the World Athletics Championships
- Isinbayeva Blames Russian Gov't for Poor World Athletics Crowd
- Promotion of Homosexuality Similar to Drugs, Alcohol - Russian Minister
MOSCOW, August 18 (R-Sport) – With a dash of glitter and some Russian patriotism, the world athletics championships wrapped up in Moscow on Sunday in low-key fashion.
As if recognizing it would be hard to outdo the blistering Jamaican sprint relay wins that finished the nine-day event on track earlier in the day, organizers opted for a closing ceremony with little of the bombast and mass performances of the opener.
Instead, a few hundred volunteers stood in a line clapping their hands to the event’s theme song, and in place of President Vladimir Putin, who declared the championships open last week, there was Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko trumpeting Russia’s success.
The host nation finished with seven gold and 17 medals in total, toppling the United States from the top spot for the first time since 2001 world championships in Edmonton.
“The most important thing is that Russia finished top of the medals table,” he said. “And this was only possible because we were all in this together.”
Even stunning performances from the athletes and good organization of the event ranked less highly than Russian triumph, Mutko said.
In one last patriotic touch, glitter guns fired as the championships were officially closed, covering the infield in Russian red, white and blue.
For the minister, the opportunity to focus on Russian sporting achievements was a break from his typical task during the championships – defending Russia’s controversial law banning the promotion of homosexuality to under-18s, something he compared earlier Sunday to promoting alcoholism and drug abuse.
The stands at Luzhniki were mostly full for Mutko's appearance, unlike last week's late-night opening ceremony, which culimated in Putin addressing a half-empty arena.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Edward Snowden is not an isolated case but part of an independent community which is increasingly resolute in asserting itself and rejecting “raison d’Etat” and behind-the-scenes manipulation. The direct results of Snowden’s disclosures are most clearly evident in the context of Russian-American relations. The Snowden case has humiliated Europe, which Putin took the opportunity to remind them of.