During a working trip to the Donetsk region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the opening of the Mariupol Ice Center.
The two-storey sports facility with an ice rink also has a medical center, gym, department of methodology, food court and fan shop. The cost of the project is UAH 90 million.
A municipal hockey club has been established on the basis of the ice arena, which will play in the Ukrainian hockey league.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ice arena, the Head of State stressed the importance of building such modern and comfortable sports facilities in Donbas.
"This is a great victory for Mariupol, for the residents of this wonderful city, for all of Ukraine and for Donbas in general, because it is one for us, for each of you. And this is also a great victory for the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas - so that they see that there is life here, Ukraine is being built here," the President said and expressed confidence that Ukraine will definitely return all its lands.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked everyone who joined the construction of this ice arena: "This is a great example when the city authorities, private investors - all unite and make such a beauty".
He expressed confidence that on the basis of this new and convenient complex new sports stars will appear and represent Ukraine at European, world and Olympic competitions and gain victories for the country.
The President wished the athletes victory and made a symbolic first puck shot. After that, a hockey match between the youth teams Sokil (Kyiv) and Mariupol (Mariupol) started at the Mariupol Ice Center.
Subsequently, the Head of State talked with prominent Ukrainian athletes and discussed with them the promotion of sports among the population, the importance of building infrastructure and the development of sports medicine.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that holding the Olympics is an ambitious sports goal for Ukraine.
"We need to understand what steps need to be taken for this - and do it very quickly. If it costs a lot, we can talk about team-up and holding (the Olympic Games - ed.) with another country," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy added that the authorities are building infrastructure, in particular restoring roads, for the development of tourism in Ukraine.
The Olympics will have a symbolic meaning and will also attract foreign tourists to our country.
"We need a sports Oscar, we need a goal," the President said.
Olympic medalist Olena Hovorova supported the President's initiative, noting that world competitions in Ukraine is the best presentation of our country.
President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine Serhiy Bubka thanked Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his high interest in the development of sports in the country. He also stressed the importance of supporting talented Ukrainian coaches, without whom it is impossible to educate successful athletes.
"It is very important to make the coaching profession prestigious. I mean salaries for coaching. This is what we need to work on to make the young coaches interested," Serhiy Bubka said.