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Babies born around 4kg could grow into Olympic champions: Nazarbayev

24 august 2012, 16:57
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Photo by Danial Okassov©
Photo by Danial Okassov©
During the official ceremony of awarding of Kazakhstan Olympic champions in Astana Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev told a funny story about weightlifter Ilya Ilyin and doubted cyclist Vinokourov’s intention to retire, Tengrinews.kz reports.

“I was recently told a story about our two-time Olympic champion Ilya Ilyin. Before the final of the tournament the journalists asked him about his weight. He said: “94kg.” He was then asked about his maximum weight. He said: “It reached 97kg.” “What was the minimum?” they asked. He said: “The minimum was at my birth: 3.6kg.” This is true. His mother said on TV that he was born weighing 3.6kg. Being born with this relatively small weight he became a weightlifting champion,” Kazakhstan President said.

“I am sure that many of the Kazakhstan children weighing around 4kg at birth have good chances of becoming Olympic champions,” Nazarbayev added.

The two-time Olympic champion Ilya Ilyin traditionally made a promise to the President at the ceremony: “The most important that I would like to say is that I’m 99.9 percent sure that I will go to Rio (next Olympic Games will be held in Rio). I will win the third gold Olympic medal. Why did I leave out 0.1 percent? In a year I will confidently say 100 percent. In the meantime it is 99.9,” Ilyin said.

President also tagged the victory of cyclist Aleksandre Vinokourov a huge achievement and did not want to accept the sportsman’s intention to retire.

“All these years he has been persistently facing the challenges, but he was not accepted well and even mistreated. Despite of the trauma, he took part in the race and finished his career so beautifully, that is if he really finished it. Did he? He said he retired. I have read that he even passes his bike to a museum. I think that Aleksandre will raise many world-class cyclists, especially since we have a splendid cycle track (in Astana),” the President said.

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