On Thursdays evening, 4 August the Minister of Culture Indrek Saar headed to the XXXI Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro as the representative of the Government of the Republic. According to Saar, the efforts of all Estonian athletes who have qualified for the Olympics deserve recognition even now. The Minster will return from Rio on 13 August.
The Minister of Culture will participate in the Opening Ceremony held today and support Estonian athletes during the Olympics. “The effort of our athletes deserves recognition even now. If they are able to realize to the limit the work they have done so far also in the competitions, it will be possible for us to win medals. This would be mean a great deal of attention and honour both for Estonian sport as well as the country as a whole,” stated Saar prior to heading to Rio.
The Minister added the competition for medals must be consistent with the Olympic ideals in every way possible. “The same message is conveyed by the statement signed so far by 20 European ministers responsible for sport. Doping is the biggest threat to the persistence of these ideals and the sports organisations of the world must do everything in their power to protect the honesty of the competition,” said Saar.
Saar emphasised the broader meaning of the Olympics for all of us and referenced studies according to which a little less than half of Estonians are engaged in sports. “This exceeds the European Union average, yet, is much lower than Nordic indicators. The example set by professional top athletes encourages doing sports and, thus, promotes being more active and living a longer, healthy life. The same objective is also the bases for initiatives of the Ministry of Culture, such as the amendment of an act currently under discussion by the government that will exempt the health expenses made by employers on employees from the fringe benefits tax starting from 2018,” added the Minister of Culture.
Indrek Saar will remain in the Olympic city until 13 August, after which the Ministry responsible for sport will be represented by the Undersecretary of Sport of the Ministry of Culture Tarvi Pürn.
Wishing you exciting Olympic weeks!