Among the many foreign guests who are now staying in the Turkmen capital, there are world-renowned sports stars, including sports idols for many generations such as the legendary hockey player Vladislav Tretiak and the famed figure skater Irina Rodnina.
Now, they are well-known public figures, promoters and ambassadors of sport, who carry out their diplomatic mission in various countries. V. Tretiak and I. Rodnina have found a big number of sincere friends and fans in Turkmenistan. Along with the participation of the distinguished ice stars in the 2017 Asian Games opening ceremony, their visit to the capital also included meetings with Turkmen sportsmen and their coaches.
The Central Officers’ Club of the Ministry of Defense of Turkmenistan hosted one of the meetings. Our country’s guests took obvious pleasure in attending the meeting, especially Vladislav Aleksandrovich. Recognized as the best hockey player of the 20th century by the International Ice Hockey Federation, a member of the symbolic team of the century, a three-time Olympic champion and a ten-time world champion, Tretiak remained faithful to the Central Sport Club of the Army (CSKA) throughout his sporting career, spanning more than twenty-five years.
CSKA is also a home club for Irina Rodnina, who has been recognized as the most successful figure skater in the history of pair skating. She began her career there and achieved remarkable success, having become a three-time Olympic champion and a ten-time world champion. The meeting of the world sports stars with hockey players of the team of the Defense Ministry of Turkmenistan turned into a conversation between colleagues.
Members of the hockey team, “Watançy”, came to address their questions to the many-time world and Olympic champions. Not only did the celebrities revealed the secrets of their success to the young sportsmen, they also gave their helpful and valuable advice on how to prepare for competitions.
The renowned guests expressed their admiration for the celebrations held to mark the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, shared their opinions on prospects for the development of mass sport and sport of records in our country, including winter sports.
Special emphasis was placed on the prominent role of the Turkmen leader – President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov as an energetic advocate and supporter of a healthy lifestyle and an initiator of the creation of ultramodern sporting infrastructure in Turkmenistan.
Replying the questions, the four-time world’s best hockey player Vladislav Tretiak told about the start of his career, in particular shared his experience at the age of 17. The team coach had to make the selection of hockey players and promised that the first four players who would finish after him in a heat would become first-string players. That day young Vladislav did his best and with his last strength finished fourth. According to him, if he had finished fifth that day, he would not have reached the lofty heights. The personal experience of the many-time champion illustrates the great importance of each training session.
“Watançy” hockey players also had questions for the renowned figure skater Irina Rodnina, asking her to make forecasts for the development of figure skating and children’s sport in Turkmenistan. The guest noted that she often pays visits to our country to give master classes and sees the significant progress made in Turkmen sport. The quality of performing technical elements and performance of a figure skating program has considerably improved. This testifies to the dynamic development of the national school of figure skating.
The young hockey players also asked the outstanding sportsmen for advice on how to make the team physically and psychologically ready for the upcoming season. In addition to regular physical exercises, the world sports legends drew attention to the role of athletes’ morale which is critically important for their readiness for each game. Guided by the team spirit, each sportsman should be properly prepared and mentally ready for a match.
After the meeting, Vladislav Tretiak and Irina Rodnina hoped that the hockey players would not give up striving for victories. The guests left messages in the Distinguished Visitors’ Book of the Central Officers’ Club of the Ministry of Defense of Turkmenistan and promised to visit Turkmenistan once again this November to give master classes.