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European Games: 'Olympic' mattresses and halal food in student village in Minsk

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Final training sessions ahead of the 2nd European Games / Raman Pratasevich, Euroradio

The Student Village in Minsk usually turns into a township with its own infrastructure during big sporting events. While students relocated to other dormitories works as the 2nd European Games volunteers, their rooms are are temporarily occupied by the athletes from other countries.

The first thing that catches your eye is security guards and high fences. In order to get inside the sports village, I had to pass through two security check-points. Volunteers and police officers not only patrol the area along the perimeter but also watch what is happening inside the village.

Flags of various countries can be seen on the windows and balconies of the buildings - Team Azerbaijan neighbors Latvia and Serbia. The athletes are arriving. Receptions are filled with bags and sport gears. Team Holland has even brought along over two dozens of bikes.

The rooms in the dormitories were slightly renovated and refurbished with new furniture, mattresses in compliance with the Olympic Games standards. High-speed internet is also connected.

Athletes can play mini-golf, aerohockey or kicker when they have free time. The stadium and a small sports complex are the busiest venues in the village. Several dozens people can simultaneously train here. Other athletes are in the gym nearby.

The former student's clinic was upgraded. One can now get blood test results almost immediately. The center now also has the equipment for athletes to recover after after training or races: baths with hydro massage, ice pools, etc. The center's workers say the treatments are very popular with the athletes, so it is not so easy to get here.

The sports village has a canteen with the capacity of 2000 seats. The canteen is divided into two halls, plus there is a room with Belarusian national cuisine and a 24/7 salad buffet. The food on the menue ranges from salads and light snacks to halal main dishes and pizza.

The foreign athletes seem to be happy with everything. They have smiles and happy looks on their faces. Get your popcorn stock and get ready for the opening ceremony to kick off the 2nd European Games on 21 June at 2100 Minsk time.