National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus
9 February 2019
The NOC Belarus held a sport delegation sendoff for the winter EYOF 2019

The forum will be held from 10 to 16 February in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Belarus will present 46 athletes in six types of sport.

The ceremony was attended not only by athletes and coaches, but also by administrative and medical groups. The first Vice-President of the NOC Belarus Andrey Astashevich and the first Deputy Minister of sports and tourism of Belarus Vyacheslav Durnov met young athletes. Participants of the festival were congratulated on joining the big Belarusian Olympic family, wished health, success and victories.

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Two-time Olympic medalist Dmitry Dashchinsky was the guest of honor of the ceremony. The former freestyle wrestler has been working with the Belarusian reserve for several years, so he had something to say to the young athletes. He remembered how he went to his first Olympics in Nagano 1998 and even somewhat envied participants of the EYOF. According to his opinion, the participants of the EYOF have the first dive into the Olympic atmosphere. Dashinski guarantees that memories children will have there are going to stay with them for the whole life.

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On behalf of the athletes, the captain of the hockey team (U-17) Kiryl Buinich, thanked for the trust and the opportunity to represent Belarus at the international forum, and gave his word that will do his best for the team to participate in this competition with dignity.

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According to tradition, the mascot of the national Olympic team called Agrik who is a pet of the General sponsor of the NOC Belarus Belagroprombank will go to the festival with Belarusian athletes for good luck. He loves to travel, and a trip to Sarajevo will be the ninth trip for mascot. A small copy of the plush Agric was put in the luggage of athletes and coaches, and the biggest Agric hugged each participant for good luck.

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At the end of the ceremony, the Olympic Champions of Pyeongchang 2018, last participants of the winter European youth Olympic festival Irina Krivko and Dinara Alimbekova, addressed the participants of the EYOF. They found time between trainings and recorded a video message, wishing young athletes to show in Sarajevo the best result. The four-time Olympic champion Daria Domracheva also addressed the children. The words of the famous Belarusian biathlete inspired especially.

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The team will go to Sarajevo in the morning by charter flight from Minsk National airport on February 9.