Biathletes’ “silver” cost Belarusians about 1 million dollars


Belarus national biathlon team won a sensational silver medal at the World Biathlon Championship. ERB has decided to find out how much this “sensational” achievement cost an average tax-payer.

At the end of January the Ministry of Sport counted that more than 34 million dollars was spent on financing national teams last year. Officials divided the sum by the 514 medals won by our sportsmen and got the sum of 66 thousand dollars. According to them, this is the price of every Belarusian medal. ERB has turned to the Ministry of Sport to find out whether the yesterday’s medal of biathletes was more expensive than that.

The head of the administration of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism Mikalai Babets admitted that the price of 66 thousand dollars had been mentioned. However, he refused to comment on the cost of the victory of our biathletes and said that such a calculation was nonsense.

Mіkalai Babets: “Trying to find out the cost is sheer folly. This is unawareness of the sport of achievements and its interaction with financing and economy. You can do anything with those numbers: decrease or increase them”.

The editor-in-chief of “Pressball” Uladzimir Berazhkou may be unaware of all the secrets of interaction of the sport of achievements with the economy but he knows the difference between medals. That is why he suggested dividing the 34 million dollars allocated for financing of national teams by 40 medals instead of 514. The cost of one medal turned out to be 850 thousand dollars.

Uladzіmіr Berazhkou: “According to the calculations of the Ministry of Sport, every medal costs about 60 thousand dollars. However, if we take into account only Olympic sports, a medal won at a world or European championship cost a Belarusian tax-payer about 800 thousand dollars. Of course it is approximate. We should be considering the sum of about one million dollars”.

The editor-in-chief of “Pressball” says that this is only an initial sum. If serious calculations are performed, the cost of one medal will reach far beyond one million dollars.

Uladzіmіr Berazhkou: “There is a lot of abuse in this kind of sport and there are several ways of financing. There is the biathlon club, the Ministry of Sport and the money of sponsors. Nobody really takes it into account”.

An Olympic biathlon champion, member of the Federation of Biathlon Svyatlana Pramyhina also thinks that there are only 40 “real” medals won by national teams. She agrees that the cost of one medal is about 850 thousand dollars. However, a medal in biathlon costs much more. The thing is, money for biathlon is not allocated only by the Ministry of Sport.

Svyatlana Paramyhіna: “The thing is, financing of biathlon is a secret. That is why I don’t even know who can say how much their medals cost. There are certain sums mentioned by the Ministry of Sport but there is also the biathlon club receiving budget money from state enterprises according to the President’s decree on support of biathlon”.

The former biathlete cannot even tell us the approximate sums of money allocated to this kind of sport.

Svyatlana Paramyhіna: “Being a sportswoman in the past and a current member of the administration of the Federation, I still haven’t managed to take a glance at the plan of distribution of this sum of money”.

She says that we should not stop at 850 thousand dollars while trying to calculate the cost of the yesterday’s biathlon medal. The sum is really much bigger. She also thinks that the medal is not worth the money spent on it.

Svyatlana Paramyhіna: “Probably it is not worth that much. What is this medal for specialists of this kind of sport?  It is not an Olympic discipline and the teams are not composed of regular members. We have won it and we are happy, we congratulate everyone who worked for it, but”…

ERB decided to compare the financing of biathlon and the sport that brings the majority of medals – athletics. It became clear that the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, sponsors and the club of biathlon allocated 3 billion 421.8 million to this sport. Athletes received 6 billion 297 millions from the Ministry and the presidential club. Only the Ministry of Sport will allocate 1 billion 633 millions to biathlon in 2008 while athletics will get 3 billion 638 millions. The only thing we should not forget about is that biathlon is one discipline, while athletics is combined of several dozens. Biathletes won one medal and athletes – much more.