There has been no shortage of excitement and inspiration to make the last 12 months special for all sport fans, and an even more thrilling prospect now lies ahead — the Olympic Year of 2014.
In February, the whole of Russia will rally behind our sportsmen as they compete for gold medals at our own Olympics in Sochi. Then in April, just before the World Ice Hockey Championship in Minsk (Belarus) in May, the Siberian city of Omsk will partner with Minsk to host the 8th International Gazprom Neft Cup KHL Youth Ice Hockey Tournament.
Before New Year the Russian ice-hockey legends, Alexander Yakushev and Boris Mikhailov, sent their best wishes to the young players, who will compete in the upcoming Tournament.
“Whether our dreams come true or not depends mainly on us — on our commitment, on how hard we work and how persistent we are,” said Alexander Yakushev, twice Olympic champion, and seven-times World and European Champion. “That is particularly true in sport, where the strongest win and success comes to those who persevere! The Gazprom Neft Cup is a key brand for the development of youth ice-hockey today. It is more than a status sporting event: it provides a major lift for thousands of boys who want to make sport a part of their lives.”
Boris Mikhailov, the legendary Soviet ice-hockey player, who was a world and Olympic champion, said: “I see the progress, which these boys make. Those who took part in the first Tournaments are now playing for teams in the MHL (Youth Hockey League), the KHL (Continental Hockey League), and for youth and junior national teams. I am sure that this year’s Tournament will also show us future hockey stars and I call on all those taking part in 2014 to set their sights on the future. Listen to what your coaches say when they teach you the elements of the art of hockey. Train hard and play hard! I am sure that the Gazprom Neft Cup will be a major stepping stone to even greater victories in the future! Happy New Year!”