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29 Jan 2010
Olympic News , Vancouver 2010

Successful return for Vancouver: Olympic Solidarity for Vancouver hopefuls

With the help of Olympic Solidarity, Belarusian biathlete Darya Domracheva is targeting a medal at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. The 22-year-old grew up in Nyagan, Russia, but returned to her native Minsk in 2005 to join the Belarus national biathlon team. Since then, Darya has made a name for herself in her sport: After becoming World Junior Champion in 2005, she won two gold medals at the European Championships just two years later, underlining her huge potential.

From race to race

Darya’s reveals: “I try not to think about it too much. Of course, my coaches have talked to me about preparing for the Olympic Games, but I am concentrating on taking things one race at a time. If you prepare properly and get everything right, then the right result will follow.”

An easier comeback

Olympic Solidarity has provided Darya with a scholarship to support her on her way to Vancouver and she explains: “The programme helps young athletes to prepare without financial problems making things difficult. With the assistance of the Olympic Solidarity, I was able to complete my rehabilitation after a difficult season.”

This season, Darya won her first medal in the World Cup at Ruhpolding (Germany) and remembers: “I think maybe I wanted to show my fans what I could do after my mistake in the mass start at Oberhof (Germany), when I was the first to come to the shooting and shot standing up, while all my rivals behind me shot lying down as we were supposed to. I became famous all over the world for that mistake!”

About Olympic Solidarity

Olympic Solidarity is an IOC organisation, and the body that ensures that athletes with talent, regardless of their financial status, have an equal chance of reaching the Olympic Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees (NOCs)’ share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. Besides individual scholarships for athletes, there are also “Team Support Grants” to support ice hockey and curling teams likely to qualify for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
The total budget for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial period amounts to USD 311 million. Within this budget, USD 61 million is earmarked to provide support to athletes.

Learn more about Olympic Solidarity

Learn more: 2009-2012 "Where the action is"

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