by Kseniya Sidarovich
In 2014, Minsk hosted the Ice Hockey World Championships. The largest ever sports event held in Belarus. In 2018, the World Helicopter Championships were held in Minsk, and January 2019, Minsk will host the European Figure Skating Championships. However, nothing will compare with what’s next! From June 21-30, 2019, Minsk will host the greatest international sports event ever held in Belarus: The 2nd European Games!
What’s it all about?
Photo by Alexander Shelegov
For 10 days, Minsk will become the backdrop for the biggest sports event in Europe. With an expected 4000 athletes from 50 different countries, the games will showcase 200 events across 15 sports and 23 disciplines. Minsk will potentially play host to roughly 18,000 accredited participants, all living in the spirit of competition and Olympic values.
We are curious to see how our amazing city will transform during the event. As a traveller, it might not be the best destination for those quiet walks through the streets, but, if you’re an avid sports fans, it promises to be a unique experience for the country and its guests!
Where else if not in Minsk?
The Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Belarus, and the UK were among the potential countries to host the 2nd European Games in 2019. The final decision was made in 2016, during the meeting of the European Olympic Committees General Assembly when Minsk was awarded the honour of playing host.
What to expect?
The 2nd European Games will introduce a new format for the track-and-field events called— Dynamic New Athletics; where athletes will compete in 10 different disciplines and the winners will be given points (12 points for 1st, 10 points for 2nd, and 8 points for 3rd). After 9 disciplines have been completed the points will be added up and the starting positions for the final pursuit will be determined.
Photo by Alexander Shelegov
Besides the new scoring system in track-and-field, there will be three new additional events: Trackathlon, The Hunt, and 3-on-3 Basketball. Trackathlon will be a combination of running, shot put, hurdles, and the standing long jump. The Hunt is a mixed distance pursuit relay (800m-600m-400m-200m) to conclude proceedings, while 3-on-3 basketball (one of several new Olympic events introduced for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics) will count as an Olympic qualifying event. In fact, 9 out of the 15 sports at the 2nd European Games will be Olympic qualifying events.
Photo by Polly Bura
Something special for me?
Minsk in 2019, will be all about sports! However, there is so much more to this amazing city and country. So, get in touch with our HiFiveBelarus team and make sure you get the full experience! We have a variety of different tours to suit all travellers from our historic Soviet tours, to our countryside retreats which include a stay in a traditional ‘dacha’. We promise this city and country will not disappoint.