Figure skaters Tomáš Verner and Brno tennis star Lucie Šafářová will attend the opening ceremony of the festival on February 4. The festival will continue until February 20. Photo credit: M. Schmerkova / MMB.
Brno, Jan. 24 (BD) – On Friday, February 4, the Olympic Festival at the Nová Zbrojovka complex in Brno-Židenice will open. This day falls during the half-year school holidays, and all visitors will have free entry from 9am.
“I would like to invite all schoolchildren and their parents and grandparents to enjoy the first day of the Olympic Festival and actively spend the half-year holidays,” said Brno Mayor Markéta Vaňková (ODS). “I believe that the opportunity to try different sports in one place will help children to play sports.” The city of Brno has allocated CZK 10 million to help fund the event, as well as the operation of the ice rink, which moved to Nová Zbrojovka this winter from its former site near the Jošt statue on Moravské náměstí. The festival will also use three curling rinks acquired by the city in 2018.
The opening ceremony will begin on February 4 at 11 a.m., when the Olympic torch leaves the city center. The penultimate competitor will be tennis star Lucie Šafářová, the face of the Brno Summer Olympics Festival, who will pass the torch to this year’s event ambassador, figure skater Tomáš Verner. He will then light the Olympic Party torch on stage.
The first Brno Olympic Festival was held in 2018 during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, attracting nearly 160,000 visitors. During the delayed Tokyo Olympics last year, the festival site was next to the Riviera swimming pool, and this year the Nová Zbrojovka complex is transformed into a winter sports destination for 17 days, ending February 20. The site will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and until 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and admission will cost 50 crowns, with those under 12, over 65 and visitors with disabilities able to visit for free. . Sports equipment is available for hire on site.
“I think the festival will be as successful as the summer one,” said South Moravian Governor Jan Grolich (KDU-CSL). “It’s a great opportunity for children, their parents and others to try out various sports. And if we have as many medals as in the summer, we have something to look forward to.
According to Jiří Kejval, President of the Czech Olympic Committee, 60% of visitors to the Olympic Festival last summer were families, and research found that 52% of parents had found a new sport for their children. This year the festival has prepared a special program for schools in the South Moravian region.
A long-term project is underway to develop Nová Zbrojovka into a modern urban district for tens of thousands of residents. Curling rinks have been operating there for some time, and the area was also chosen as the site of the city’s main ice rink this year, so the area was the obvious choice for the Olympic Festival. In total, the festival will see the visit of 3,000 children from around 60 schools. They will have a choice of around 20 winter sports, including biathlon, bobsleigh and snow volleyball, according to Petr Hladík (KDU-CSL), first deputy mayor of Brno.
During the morning program, students will try out three sports under the guidance of professionals, receive a free snack and experience the Olympic atmosphere in the presence of professional athletes. It is also possible for teachers to take their students without pre-registration, without admission costs, but the organizers cannot guarantee the availability of all sports in this case. Naïa Černá, project manager for the event, said the festival will also feature the Ed Olympic Zone, teaching children the values of the Olympic Games, such as fair play and respect for opponents.
Festival organizers have organized shuttle buses with Brno Transport Company (DPMB) from public transport stops in Vojenská nemocnice, Stará Osada and Židenice train station, which will bring visitors to the gates of the complex.
Reservations for certain sports and ticket sales will open from February 2, on the festival site. The hygienic safety measures for the event will be based on the current regulations set by the Czech government, said Libor Varhaník, vice-president of the Czech Olympic Committee, but he is confident that the event can be held in all cases. “In the summer, we were able to hold an Olympic festival safely in two parts of the country,” he said. “We are now cooperating with the South Moravian regional hygiene office and are ready to react flexibly to the current situation. For example, we can regulate the capacity of visitors to the complex and provide a test center. »
What sports can you try at the Olympic Festival?
Sports accessible to the public include hockey, ice skating, bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, curling, cross-country skiing, biathlon (including shooting with a small caliber laser rifle), snowboarding, skiing, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, orienteering, snow volleyball, speed skating on a slideboard, garden and board chess, monkey track and other games.
Program of the opening ceremony on February 4
- 9 a.m. – Opening of the complex
- 11 a.m. – Olympic Torch Relay from the city center
- 11:30 am – Opening ceremony with Tomáš Verner, Lucie Šafářová, Jan Mazoch and others
- 12 p.m. – Official opening of all sports venues
- 12:30 p.m. – Exhibition of figure skater Tomáš Verner
- 1 p.m. – Screening of the start of the games in Beijing
- 7 p.m. – Closing of the complex
The festival will feature many special events with elite athletes. Further details are available on the event website.
- February 4 – Opening ceremony with Tomáš Verner, Lucie Šafářová, Jan Mazoch and others.
- February 5 – Women’s hockey exhibition with distinguished guests
- February 6 – Climber Adam Ondra comes to celebrate his birthday
- February 12 – Biathlon with Gabriela Koukalová
- February 14 – Special Valentine’s Day sports program for couples
- February 15 – Celebrating 50 years of hockey star Jaromir Jágr
- February 17 – A day with the Czech Olympic Foundation
- February 19 – Aleš Valenta celebrates 20 years since winning his Olympic gold medal
- February 20 – Closing Ceremony
[email protected]AuthorWriter and English teacher from London who has been living in Brno since 2011, interested in politics, low culture and all things weird and/or Czech.Brno Daily