Olympic classes with Svetlana Zhurova

Artek has been following a special ‘Olympic’ daily program since August 17. A special sport and educational project, the Olympic Patrol, has started at Artek. Every day over a week, prominent Russian athletes speak about the history of the Olympic movement, Olympic values and the success stories of Russian Olympians. Olympic champions Svetlana Zhurova and Vlada Chigiryova taught the first Olympic lesson to Camp Lesnoi.

Thanks to the project, Artek youth will learn how to start on their path to sport victories, how to eat right, recover and distribute a workload during training. Olympic Patrol participants will have a chance to try out the Olympic preparation routine for the most important events in the Games and immerse in a real Olympic atmosphere. During the seven days of the program, Artek groups will take part in sport trials after which they can become an ‘Olympic team’ and join the big sports movement uniting athletes and sport fans around the world.

Svetlana Zhurova, Olympic champion in speed skating at the 20th Olympic Games in 2006, and Vlada Chigiryova, Olympic champion in team synchronized swimming at the 31st Olympics in 2016, taught the first Olympic lesson. The Olympians talked about their personal experiences, their victories, the main principles of the Olympic movement and its values, including friendship, constant improvement, respect and fair competition.

“The Olympic Patrol promotes Olympic and human values,” Zhurova noted. “Exercise, a fair game, respect and friendship is all that every person needs. Sport teaches these values and young people need to learn about it on a personal example. It is one thing to read about us in magazines and another to see us in person. They realize, here she is, an Olympic champion, she has gone through it all. Kids need to know that an Olympic champion is not a fictional character but an ordinary person who lives an ordinary life. This career is very interesting for those kids who want to achieve something. They need to know that it is possible for every one of them.”

Speaking about achievements, Zhurova shared that she was born in a small village, Pavlovo-on-Neva, with a population of under 1,000, and she became an Olympic champion. The Olympians expressed their wishes for the kids to dream big and become good people.

“Athletes are dreamers. For example, I dream about the next Olympics,” Vlada Chigiryova said. “The most important thing in life is not to stop dreaming. Set yourself goals for far in the future that will be your dream. It will give you a purpose in life. Don’t be afraid to dream big and get closer every day.”

Answering questions from the young participants, the prominent guests spoke about sport safety, workload during training sessions and their cherished dreams.

“My children love sports. My son once said, ‘Mom, I want to be a two-time Olympic champion and a multiple world champion.’ If it happens I will be happy and, perhaps, it is my dream as well. Every parent dreams that their children will achieve more than they did,” Svetlana Zhurova said.

Vlada Chigiryova said that her passion is surfing. “My dream is to improve my surfing skills. If I weren’t a synchronized swimmer I would be a surfer.”

The athletes said Olympic Patrol is a good educational program that teaches kids practical knowledge. “In addition to history, they adopt the same values.”

Svetlana Zhurova added that many children who come to Artek already have their own achievements and it is very important to them to compare themselves to successful people.