Olympic medallists and coaches were honoured as the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (HOK) celebrated its 30-year anniversary this month.
The nation’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was among those who praised the HOK for its contribution towards the Olympic Movement.
“By promoting Olympic values, you make a huge contribution to the popularization of sports among young people and strengthening cooperation with international structures,” Tokayev was quote as saying by
“As a result, our athletes achieve great success at many major competitions.
“They have won hundreds of awards at the Olympic Games, World Championships and Asian Championships.
“The names of our champions are written in golden letters in the annals of world sports.”
HOK chief Timur Kulibayev was present at the ceremony to mark the occasion.
Olympic champions Vladimir Smirnov, Alexander Vinokurov and Ermakhan Ibraimov received the highest award of the HOK – the Order of the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan.
Other Olympic stars such as Olga Shishigina, Sergei Filimonov, Elena Khrustaleva, Dmitry Karpov, and Dariga Shakimova were among the host of stars honoured with different levels of badges by the HOK.
Smirnov was the first Olympic champion from independent Kazakhstan, when it made its debut at Lillehammer 1994.
The HOK, founded in 1990 and recognised by the International Olympic Committee in 1993, made its summer Olympic debut as an independent nation in Atalanta 1996.
Kazakhstan has sent athletes to every edition of the Summer and Winter Games since making their debut, winning a total of 79 medals so far.
This includes 15 gold, 25 silver and 39 bronze medals with 71 of them coming at the Summer Olympics.
Boxing has been their strongest Olympic sport, contributing to seven gold medals so far.
“Your anniversary is a key event not only for you, but also for our entire Olympic family,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.
“Therefore, I would like to thank the entire NOC team of Kazakhstan, under the effective leadership of your NOC President and my friend Timur Kulibayev, for everything you do to promote sport for everyone and in every corner of your country.
“Looking forward with confidence, I want to assure you that you can always count on the support of the IOC in promoting the Olympic values of peace and solidarity.
“Your athletes have won an incredible number of awards – 79 Olympic medals.
“There is something to be proud of!”
Source: Inside The Games