Πέμπτη 22 Φεβρουαρίου 2024

Putin at the opening of the "Games of the Future"

The series is launched. It's already making people cringe. At the request of Vladimir Putin, Russia is organizing this week on its soil the first of three multi-sport events on its calendar for 2024.
The Future Games, a mix of electronic sports and more traditional disciplines, began Monday February 19 in Kazan. The opening ceremony is announced for Wednesday February 21. The competitions are scheduled to run until Sunday March 3.
Russia is therefore keeping its promise. Still largely isolated from the international sporting movement, it hosts its own multi-sport events at home. Vladimir Putin suggested it last May. His request was fulfilled.

After the Future Games, the same city of Kazan will host the BRICS Games in June (12 to 23). Then the series will conclude in September with the Friendship Games, scheduled for Moscow and Yekaterinburg, an event over which the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency have already poured out a torrent of criticism.
For its first Future Games, Russia did not fear mixing genres. On the program for the first day of competitions, Monday February 19, a Dota 2 tournament, a video game that the organizers have spiced up by adding a real battle. The agency TASS announces the participation of 16 teams, notably from Russia, China, Peru, Iran and the Philippines.

Also on the bill for the inaugural day is an ice hockey tournament. Hybrid, too. At each meeting, the players compete in virtual mode, via a game simulator, before putting on their skates and climbing on the ice to continue the exchange in 3 against 3. The result combines the goals scored during the two phases of the meeting, digital and physical.

Later during the event, the program will offer an improbable succession of virtual and more traditional events, including an electronic basketball tournament, a robot battle, a drone race, a simulator dance competition, an online cycling race .

Convincing? Hard to say. Essential ? Surely not. But the main thing is elsewhere. By multiplying its own multi-sport events, Russia is not seeking to fill a gap in the calendar or propose a new approach. It intends to respond to the sanctions imposed by the Olympic movement by staging major spectacle productions from scratch.

According to the mayor of Kazan, Ilsur Metshin, quoted by Russian media, 1 athletes from 400 countries would have made the trip to participate in the Games of the Future. “ We expect over 100 countries to be represented”, he added, specifying that the competitions will take place on twelve different sites.

According to the Kremlin, the opening ceremony will be marked by the presence of “ foreign leaders ». Which ? Patience, they will be revealed " on time ". At this stage, only one name is put forward by Moscow, that of Sadyr Zhaparov, the president of Kyrgyzstan.

Another confirmed guest: Roy Jones Jr. The former boxer of American origin is due to attend the opening ceremony on Wednesday. Its presence was confirmed at TASS by his spokesperson. Not really a surprise. In addition to being very close to the president of the IBA, the Russian Umar Kremlev, Roy Jones Jr. became a Russian citizen in September 2015 by a decree signed by Vladimir Putin himself.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, wants to swear on the Bible: the Games of the future will help bring together the sports community. “ This is a global event, a Russian product that opens a new page in the history of sport”, did he declare.