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Federation news

For print
January 20, 2017

Belarus & Latvia Bidding Campaign to co-host tHE 2021 IIHF WM

The Belarusian Ice Hockey Association and the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation submitted a joint bid to co-host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

On January 10, the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association and the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation submitted a joint bid to co-host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

On January 19, the chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association Igor Rachkovski and the president of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation Aigars Kalv?tis signed a co-bid to host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

 

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be the 85th world championship event to be organized by the IIHF. Belarus and Latvia’s only competitor for the right to host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is Finland. The winner of the race for the right to host the biggest ice hockey event of 2021 will be chosen on May 19 at an IIHF Congress, which will take place in Cologne during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

Dates.

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will take place from May 7-23, 2021.

If the joint Belarusian-Latvian bid is successful, then the round-robin games and the quarter-finals will take place in both capital cities, while the semi-finals and medal games will be held at the Minsk Arena.

Arenas.

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship games would take place at the biggest ice arenas of both capital cities – the Minsk Arena (inaugurated on January 30, 2010; capacity – 15 000 spectators) and the Arena Riga (inaugurated on February 15, 2006; capacity – 10 300 spectators). Both venues have previously hosted IIHF ice hockey world championships. The Minsk Arena was the main venue for the 2014 event, while the Arena Riga hosted the World Championship in 2006.

Logo.

The bid logo for Belarus and Latvia was drafted by famous Latvian designer Guntars Ošenieks.

 

Logo concept.

The two countries – Belarus and Latvia – have much in common with regard to their history. Throughout the centuries, both countries have shared many historical milestones, which is reflected in the close cultural and emotional ties that our people share.

The logo is based on the colours of the Belarusian and Latvian national flags, symbolizing the unity of our countries in their aspiration to co-host the best event in the history of ice hockey. Moreover, the national flag colours of all 77 IIHF member countries can be found in the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship logo and corporate identity.

The logo lines represent the ice surface after an intense and memorable game, and reflect the dynamics and progress of ice hockey, a sport that is incredibly popular in both countries.

We have created a colourful and modern logo that will remain state-of-the-art for many years to come, just as our beloved ice hockey sport will remain popular with future generations.

Hashtag.

#minskriga2021 would be the official hashtag of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

Motto.

PASSION. NO BORDERS would be the official motto of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

Press conference participants.

An agreement to co-bid for the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship was signed by the chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association, Igor Rachkovski, and the president of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation, Aigars Kalv?tis.

The logo was officially presented by mayor of Minsk, Andrei Shorets, and mayor of Riga, Nils Ušakovs.

Andrei Shorets, mayor of Minsk:

The Belarusian capital has served as the world’s culture and sports capital many times. In 2014, we welcomed ice hockey fans from all over the world for the ice hockey world championship in Minsk, which contributed immensely to the development of ice hockey in our capital city and in the country as a whole. Thousands of people learned about Minsk and its citizens, while benefiting from our capital’s advanced tourist and economic facilities. During the 2014 world championship, each participant and visiting fan became a Minsk native, while every resident of Minsk became an ice hockey fan. Minsk obtained a refurbished airport, developed its road infrastructure, built new hotels and many other facilities that bring joy to its natives and guests every day.

I am certain that the residents of the Latvian capital experienced similar emotions in 2006, when the world ice hockey championship was held in Riga.

Minsk and Riga are prepared for a joint ice hockey celebration and are ready to battle for the success of our co-bid. I have no doubt that this project will strengthen our already close cultural, economic and, obviously, sports connections.

Nils Ušakovs, mayor of Riga: 

Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in Riga. Every single game that takes place in our city becomes a true celebration for numerous ice hockey fans.

Our city has experience in organizing a variety of top-level events, including a Eurovision Song Contest, the 2006 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, a NATO Summit and various European Capital of Culture events.

Also, during the last few years, Riga has become one of the most rapidly developing tourist destinations. Over the past seven years, the number of foreign tourists in Riga has tripled.

In its turn, Minsk is our close friend and partner. We are glad to share this opportunity and hope to co-host a true celebration for ice hockey fans in 2021 at the highest level.

Aigars Kalv?tis, president of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation: 

Both Belarus and Latvia have extensive experience in holding high-level international sports events, including the ice hockey world championships that each of our capital cities hosted not so long ago. We highly appreciate the opportunity to co-organize such a great project with our neighbours, partly because the history of ice hockey in our countries has many shared moments, both happy and sad. We remember and honour the memory of our national team captains, Ruslan Salei and K?rlis Skrasti?š, both of whom perished in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air tragedy in 2011.

Igor Rachkovski, president of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association: 

Back in 2014, Belarus was at the centre of a true ice hockey celebration. My country hosted the world championship and helped participants, fans and media enjoy great emotions, positive energy and unforgettable hospitality.

Ice hockey, with its excitement and dynamism, has no boundaries. Ice hockey unites. The fact that Belarus and Latvia have joined forces in a bid to host the world’s biggest ice hockey event in 2021 is yet another example of this. Both of our countries have the necessary experience and infrastructure to host a memorable and well-organized sports event. But, most importantly, we share a dream and a joint goal.

The 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship was acknowledged as among the best in history. However, we do not plan to rest on our laurels, because our passion has no borders!

Sergei Goncharov, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association:

It seems like it was only yesterday. Obtaining the right to host the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the first face-off at the Minsk Arena, the unforgettable atmosphere in the hospitality areas. Even representatives of England Hockey mentioned that in city style and atmosphere, Minsk was as good as Olympic London.

We are joining the bid race to host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, because we again wish to showcase Belarus and its people in front of the world, and we want to bring new and bright ice hockey moments to the fans. In 2014, thanks to the support of the Belarusian president, we granted visa-free entry to all ice hockey world championship participants and guests, while presently the citizens of 80 countries can come to Belarus without visas.

We know that the competition for the right to host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be a tough one, as Finland is our opponent. We value our Finnish colleagues and respect them. There certainly is a great deal of work ahead of us. The opportunity to host the Ice Hockey World Championship is very inspiring and motivating. Among other things, we want to return the favour to our Czech friends, who beat the Minsk 2014 attendance record. But now that we have a trump card – incredible fans from Belarus and Latvia being united – we hope to make it together! Passion. No Borders.

Maksim Ryzhankov, First Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus:

The 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and Annual Congress that took place in Minsk were acknowledged very highly by international experts, local and foreign fans. Given that Minsk boasts such sports and hotel infrastructure as well as has received excellent feedback after organizing the previous championship, it would be wrong not to hold another WM in the Belarusian capital. We have a relevant assignment from the Head of State instructing us to organize a true ice hockey celebration for all local sports fans. Also, the planned tournament will become a grand trans-border project to be implemented jointly with an EU member state. That is why Belarus and Latvia are ready to join forces in the race for the 2021 event and our plans in this regard are most realistic. We are confident of our abilities to organize the championship at the highest level.

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