The opening of the seventh Spartakiade in Moscow's brand new Lenin Stadium on Saturday (21 July) has been regarded as a full-blown Olympic dress rehearsal for next year's Olympic Games.
The opening of the seventh Spartakiade in Moscow's brand new Lenin Stadium on Saturday (21 July) has been regarded as a full-blown Olympic dress rehearsal for next year's Olympic Games. The Spartakiade is normally a domestic event, but this year competitors from more than eighty countries have been invited, and live satellite coverage of the event has been planned.
The history of the Spartakiade began in 1928 in honour of the five year plan and the tenth anniversary of the Soviet sports movement. Since 1956, a Spartakiade has taken place every four years, beginning with competitions in schools, high schools and other institutions in the 15 Soviet Republics, Moscow and Leningrad.
From 40 million participants at the start, those with the best results qualify for the final competition. In the sixth Spartakiade in 1975, sportsmen have qualified for the finals and will take part in events as diverse as Archery and Tennis, Chess and Wrestling - but with Track and Field claiming the main attention.
With the ending of the competition on August 5 when the football final will be played, officials of the Moscow Olympic Authorities will pool their knowledge and experience of the competition to further improve preparations for the 1980 Olympic Games.
SYNOPSIS: For the first time in modern history, the Olympic games are to be held in an East European country -- the Soviet Union -- and, in Moscow, preparations and building work are well advanced. Hotels and sports facilities are springing up and tourist attractions are being spruced up. The people of Moscow are also being coached in new skills -- taxi drivers and waitresses are taking English lessons and young cooks are mastering the art of western cuisine. Now the city is being given a chance to test its preparations before the big day arrives in 1980.
A Spartakiade takes place in the Soviet Union every four years. Competition are held nationwide in schools and other institutions, with winners qualifying for the finals. This year, as well as the twelve and a half thousand Soviet competitors, foreign sportsmen have been invited -- so Moscow would handle about twice as many competitors as Montreal did for the 1976 Olympics.
Events are planned in thirty sports, but detailed starting lists were not available in advance with competitors arriving up to the last minute. the two-week programme was to begin with a mass display of gymnastics in the one-hundred thousand seat Lenin Stadium -- the centre of next year's Games--which was officially opened the week before.
Not all countries received invitations to this Spartakiade -- Israel and New Zealand, for instance, were excluded. Next year, under Olympic regulations, the Soviet Union will have to suppress such ideological discrimination..the Olympic ideal comes first.