The “Fat Cats” Who Stole the Olympics

medved030110.jpgPresident Dmitry Medvedev had an eventful meeting with Boris Gryzlov and the leaders of United Russia today, allowing for the opportunity to talk about all the people who will be fired for the country’s dismal performance at the Olympics.  From Kremlin.ru:

Second, taking into account what happened in Vancouver, we need to radically change the way we train our athletes. Unfortunately, as is clear even to non-specialists now, we were able to keep riding along on the basis of what was developed and achieved during the Soviet period, but this is no longer possible today. We have lost the old Soviet school now. There is no need to idealise it. Quite simply, it no longer exists, but we have not yet built a new school to replace it, even though we have been investing unprecedented levels of funding in sport, and this is also an indisputable fact. This shows that money alone cannot solve all the problems. Money is certainly important and is an essential condition, but it does not solve everything. The results of these Olympics highlight the real problems that we face.

We therefore need to rethink the way we train ourathletes. The cornerstone of the system should be the athletesthemselves, not the federations, which in some cases are like big fatcats, and not their heads, or even the coaches, for all our immenserespect for their work, but ultimately, it is the athletes who producethe results and they must therefore be the centre of attention.

Finally, I cannot but agree with you that thosein charge of preparing for these Olympics need to take their share ofresponsibility for the results. This is obvious. I think that thoseresponsible, some of them at least, should take the brave decision tosubmit their resignations and step down. If they do not find withinthemselves the resolve to do so we will help them.