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Money or idea? What are Russian skiers fighting for?

Russian skiers, left at least for the next season without international tournaments, have lost a lot of prize money. The Sport observer talked to athletes and coaches and tried to find an answer to the question: what is more important – money or an idea? The TV presenter, at every opportunity, continues in his characteristic eccentric manner to “drown” the representatives of the ski world, especially Elena Vyalbe and the federation supervised by her. almost homeless, turning ski poles from a roadside hazel. But is everything really so sad?“I think that the main thing is the idea,” said Yuri Borodavko, head coach of the Russian national team. – Every athlete is a very proud person who amuses his own ego. “I am the best, I am the strongest, I will win.” The second place is patriotism. In the end, all this is embodied in finance, that is, first you need to do the job without thinking about money, and then the jackpot will come – big earnings.

Of course, patriotism is an important component, but no one will condemn an ​​athlete who wins first of all for himself and his loved ones, and then for the country. But a skier who is trying to win solely for the sake of dough, very many will not understand.“We are deeply convinced that if an athlete comes to the sport to earn money, at least there will definitely be no result in cross-country skiing,” said Elena Vyalbe, head of the FLGR. “First of all, a person must have a goal in front of him. Not money, but results. And only then will the money appear, and that's it. We should never dwell on the fact that this is making money. This includes transportation, food, accommodation, clothing, and inventory. Plus, the salary rate in the CSP, as well as payments from the regions. Top skiers also have personal sponsors, which allows them to provide for themselves and their families.“My little business is to train,” says Olympic champion Yulia Stupak. “We’ll get ready, and then we’ll see.” The task before us is clear – only to run and show good results. Are we ready to run for an idea without prize money? Well, enough to procrastinate this topic! Of course we are ready. At least we are ready to run, just let us do it!"

As practice shows, Russian companies are not averse to getting advertising at the expense of world-famous skiers. For example, one large insurance company sponsored the recent control starts of the Russian national team in Khanty-Mansiysk, paying the athletes prize money in the amount of 20 thousand rubles for the first place, 10 thousand for the second and 7.5 thousand for the third. But it was, in fact, the usual part of the pre-season training camp, and for many members of the national team, the first interval training at all. By the way, for comparison, the prize money for winning the March Russian Biathlon Championships amounted to 30 thousand rubles. At the main internal start of the season.

"Like others, we work and must think about ourselves and loved ones, — said the Olympic champion Alexey Chervotkin. But you need to understand that not everything is fixated on money. There must be somewhere (work) and for the benefit of society. We will perform in Russia, we will not have huge earnings, except for our salary, but people will see us, we will popularize our sport. Let's see how the season goes, in what direction it will affect. Will people watch us, will they show us on TV?"

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