Demino: Training ground for Sochi 2014 champs
There’s no doubt that one of the main reasons for Russia winning the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics is due to the success of the many winter sport athletes it’s produced.
And with the Games less than 20 months away many of them are already starting their preparations.
Demino’s 16 certified tracks and other infrastructure have been serving professionals and Olympic hopefuls since 2003.
“The center was initially designed to hold international events of any level,” Oleg Kondratenko, Rybinsk – Demino’s director of Physical Culture Department, told RT. “There are no other centers in Russia that have as many certified tracks as Demino. Six times we’ve held a stage of the Skiing World Cup and have already secured it for the season after the Olympics.”
The Roller-Ski Tour is just one of many events that the center hosts, with triathlon and marathon competitions in the summer.
But it’s the impressive pre-winter season where the complex excels as it can produce its own snow – even in temperatures above zero.
“I’ve been roller ski-riding and cross country skiing for a while and I can say this complex is one of the best in Russia,” Elena Ektova, Russian roller skier, said. “It has interesting courses and is kept at a high international level. What’s best is that it’s part of better developing roller ski and cross country skiing in Russia, something that’s been sorely needed.”
So, the infrastructure may be slowly popping up on the Russian landscape, however, there’s still a lot that the cross country and roller-ski federations wish could be sped up and improved upon.
“I of course want to see more ski complexes and courses for roller skiing built around Russia because it’s the main criteria for further developing these sports in Russia,” Andrey Kondrashov, International Sports Press association member, stressed. “We are trying to help cultivate the sport in various regions of the country, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.”
But for now, its places like Demino that will have to lead the way for future generations of champions.
And the Demino Sport Complex maybe a one stop shop for professional roller skiers, marathon runners, tri-athletes and winter sports enthusiasts in general, but it’s also a great place to come and relax.
Russia's Aleksey Petukhov finishing a race as he wins the men's 1.3km sprint at the 2011 FIS World Cup at Demino.(RIA Novosti / Sergey Belyakov)