Today our country is experiencing not only an economic upsurge; millions of people are returning to the eternal spiritual foundations of life. The religious and ethical formation of Russia’s many sons and daughter goes together with the pursuit of physical culture and sports.
In recent years we have become witnesses to brilliant victories attained by Russian sportsmen in international tournaments. In various sports our compatriots showed the will for victory and team spirit, well-coordinated efforts and self-discipline. This shows that Russia is confident and feels herself to be a strong and independent country which has something to say and to show to the world.
From old times, sports competitions have helped not only to promote people’s health but also to build peace. Wars stopped and controversies ceased during Olympic Games. And you, modern sportsmen, too, are called to peacemaking.
The Russian Olympic team is made up of people of various ethnic backgrounds and religious traditions. We call upon all the participants in the Olympic Games to engage in honest and selfless struggle for victory and to show good will not only towards partners but also rivals.
We all wish you brilliant successes, which will become a visible testimony to the revival of our Motherland.
July 29, 2008