«Help the kids spread their wings»

About half a year ago it became very clear that Darya Domracheva is not just a sports phenomen but also a national icon. However, we couldn’t imagine the real scale of people’s love until the day the three-time Olympic champion organized a family sports festival «City biathlon with Darya Domracheva» at the Children’s Central Gorky Park.

The famous Belarusian managed to do the impossible: organize a proper summer biathlon competition in the heart of the city. The main participants of this event weren’t however the winners of the numerous relays or Darya herself but children who practically «invaded» the park and filled it with bright colors and trills of laughter.

The summer biathlon festival was all day long with the central park serving as a competition stage. You couldn’t spot anyone there being pretentious or negligent; there was a great spirit of sportsmanship and competition. The festival intended to promote sport and have a great time turned into a serious and stiff competition where coaches urged their athletes in the passing area, team-mates cheered them all the way along the 400-meter lap followed by the sports-commentator Ilya Trifanov who knows biathlon like the back of his hand. 

The big screen specially delivered from Europe helped to follow the online shooting results thus making the competition look even more real. Meanwhile things were humming in central park the relays kept changing one another without any time for a break.  «Can you believe it, they actually hit the shooting target», - boys said puzzled by the fact that the girls successfully hit all the shooting targets from the laser rifles. 

Those who were not involved in the races could easily entertain themselves in the «creative zone». It turned out that the grown-ups were enjoying arts-and-crafts no less than their kids. It seemed that parents are the ones who this festival was made for. Sitting at the plastic tables moms relieved their feelings coloring their kids’ wings; fathers were battling at a table hockey game completely forgetting the entire world. Everyone was a child and a bit of an artist that day. There were many children having their first try at easels, drawing portraits; however, there was one that stood out, - a brave boy who met the challenges and didn’t give up on life. Instead, he grabbed with his toe a coloring brush and began to illustrate a bright and happy place called the world. His name is Pavel Raschinsky and he is suffering from ICP. However despite all odds he strives for life and now he can proudly say that he’s got his first exhibition.

Clearly the heroes of that day were little boys and girls dressed as angels with their cute colored wings behind racing for 50 meters towards their moms’ arms and of course the presents. «The Angels' race» was the most sincere and joyful moment of the whole festival keeping the spectators’ attention to the very last second being the perfect spot for «Monsters, Inc»-power-plan if only they could get it from the kids’ laughter instead of screams☺. «Help the kids spread their wings» - a volunteer said to the parents preparing little participants for the race. At that moment she probably hardly realized that this practical advice was in fact if speaking metaphorically the key to the happiness on the whole planet and the whole idea of this great event.

If for some reason you didn’t get to the festival that day and missed all the news about it on TV I bet you still can imagine the way Darya was welcomed by her fans. Do you remember the final scene from the «Perfume: The story of a murderer» where Jean-Baptiste Grenouille wearing a perfect scent was devoured by the nearby crowd? If it wasn’t for the security guys, similar could have happened to Darya. People ran towards Darya nearly knocking the little angels down who were getting ready for the race - everyone seemed to get her attention, got under her spell, take a selfie, autograph or simply touch the «golden» athlete; and once they did they were ecstatic. However, not everyone was lucky that day…

The sun was looking down on people sitting on the lawn, watching summer biathlon and talking about Darya. A little girl who was so amazed seeing her idol walking along the park not being able to hold  her emotions any longer said with a trembling voice: «I would never thought I would see Darya Domracheva so close!». Everyone was happy and that could mean only one thing: the festival was a blast!

The author Tatyana Lukashevich, www.pressball.by