One of the axioms of healthy living is starting your day with exercise. The business programme of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 was kicked off with Roscongress SPIEF Race, a morning run around the historic centre of St. Petersburg, which also set a precedent for the huge sporting traditions of SPIEF.
«Exercise helps you to work effectively and gets your juices flowing. When youre walking around in a suit all day, changing out of your suit and work shoes into your workout gear is a dream for most [event] participants,» said Press Secretary to the President, Dmitry Peskov.
Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, Herman Gref, admitted that SPIEF Race was the best race of his life. Recounting the experience, the banker said: «Nothing compares to running with those views and no cars on the road.»
Participants in the SPIEF sporting programme boasted over 30 Olympic gold medals between them. And Aleksandr Karelin, three-time Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, became the first ambassador of Roscongress sporting projects.
During SPIEF 2018, the Russian Ethnographic Museum was transformed into an arena for a sabre fencing friendly between Russia and France, i.e. the world leaders in this discipline. The winner was decided in the final moments, with Olympic champion Sofya Velikaya winning the deciding point, resulting in a final score of 45:44. Participants in the match had the honour of meeting President Vladimir Putin and President Emmanuel Macron on the fringes of the RussiaFrance business forum at SPIEF 2018.
The 2019 SPIEF session Football and the Big City, which was spearheaded by Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of Russia, became a platform for the presentation of the Euros 2020 and 2022 World Cup. The major football tournaments were presented by Martin Kallen, CEO of UEFA, and Hassan Al-Thawadi, General Secretary of the Qatar 2022 Organizing Committee.
One of the most hard-won victories in the career of mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko was in a head-to-head against Brazilian Fábio Maldonado, which took place as part of the SPIEF 2016 sporting programme.
Khabib Nurmagomedov at SPIEF 2016 on how mixed martial arts will become one of the leaders of the world sports industry two years before his triumphant victory over Connor McGregor.
Gennadiy Timchenko, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kontinental Hockey League, and Roman Rotenberg, Vice President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, took part in the debut Roscongress Cup gala hockey match. Regular participants in SPIEF hockey meetings have included President of the Novotrans Group, Konstantin Goncharov; Members of the Board of Directors at Ilim Group, Boris Zingarevich and Mikhail Zingarevich; Chief Economist at VEB.RF, Andrei Klepach; and President of Zenit, Alexander Medvedev, along with many other elite business representatives. Joining them on the ice were hockey legends such as two-time Olympic champions Alexander Kozhevnikov and Alexei Kasatonov, Olympic champion Vladimir Myshkin, and two-time Olympic champion Alexei Yashin.
The topic of import substitution in industrialization a relevant issue on the business programme agenda was carried over to the ice rink. Three-time world hockey champion Danis Zaripov played at SPIEF 2019, and all participants in the match received Zaryad hockey sticks made from innovative materials which are produced by the factory he opened four years ago in Naberezhnye Chelny.
Basketball gala matches at SPIEF were co-organized by the VTB United League, headed by General Director and two-time Olympic champion Ilona Korstin. Basketball and hockey matches, which are held in Moscow as part of the Roscongress Sport Club on a regular basis, are continuing the sporting programme traditions of the forums.
For Zenit, SPIEF has become a platform where it can present its projects and sign sponsorship deals.
«For sport, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has become a trusted space for promoting ones projects and engaging with a business audience. The Sports Investment Bureau online platform, which is being developed by the Roscongress Foundation under the auspices of the Ministry of Sport, will act as a digital extension of these activities», said Georgy Bryusov, Deputy Director of the Roscongress Foundation.