Muay Thai fighters in Thailand. (Photo courtesy

Russian Olympic Official Tells AIMAG Organizers to Think About Legacy


APRIL 20, 2015

The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games preparations are in full swing in lieu of the much-awaited event scheduled for 2017 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. As such, the eyes of the martial arts world are keenly fixated on how things are coming along.

One woman who has taken notice is Elena Anikina, director of international cooperation of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Speaking at the international media forum held at the event venue, Anikina took the opportunity to give her valuable advice for the host country.

“I am very happy to be here today for the Turkmenistan International Sports Media Forum 2015,” said Anikina.

The Russian Olympic Committee plays a key role in promoting, arranging, and hosting major international sporting events in Russia. Anikina and the organization’s president, Alexander Zhukov, spearheaded the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Anikina continued on to regale her various experiences in dealing with Sochi and how it has helped her vastly with the entire process of managing large-scale sporting events.

“In such projects, there must be one structure that plays a key role,” said Anikina. “From my experience, I can tell you that it is vital that the host National Olympic Committee [NOC] becomes the central body for decision-making and information sharing,” she added.

The host NOC is the body which unites all Games stakeholders — the IOC, the athletes, the International Federations, other NOCs, the wider Olympic family and other non-sporting organizations including the host city, governments and businesses.

If the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games turns out to be a success, which it is almost guaranteed to be, Anikina believes it will only be good for the host country.

“Sport has the power to bring positive change throughout the world,” said Anikina. “Sport supports healthy lifestyles and encourages ambition and national pride alongside tolerance and understanding. Because a world of sport is a world of peace.”

The success of AIMAG 2017 is firmly in the hands of Turkmenistan and the officials in charge of this monumental event. As such, much care and attention to detail must be the utmost priority.

“My message to the government of Turkmenistan and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games Executive Committee is to pay as much attention to the time that will follow the Games as the Games themselves,” said Anikina.

“After many years of preparation, these sporting events last only for a couple of weeks, but the long-term legacy that they have can transform the country for generations,” she added.  “I am sure that the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017 will be a world-class sporting event and provide long term benefits for athletes and the people of Turkmenistan.”

Loren Mack is a volunteer member of the prestigious Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF), a member of Community Unity of Sullivan County, New York, and has been an integral part of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) industry for years now. He now serves as the director of public relations for ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) headquartered in Singapore. Follow him at @LorenMackBlog