07/25/2020, 08.00
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A church dedicated to Olympic champions is under construction in Moscow

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The “Victory of the Russian people” remains the basis of Russian Orthodox identity. After the Armed Forces, Russia’s Olympians are getting their own church to celebrate their victories. The complex will cover 17,000 square metres and will include a pilgrim centre, a medical dispensary, a large swimming pool, a ballet school and many other facilities. It will be built in five to six years.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – Russian medal winning Olympic athletes are role models to follow, at a religious level as well. For this reason, a church dedicated to Russia ‘s Olympic team is under construction in a Moscow suburb.

This comes not long after the inauguration of the celebrated and much criticised Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, the main church of Russia’s Armed Forces, also known as the Victory Church.

The Olympic church will be dedicated to Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy, the first prince of Moscow who challenged and overthrew the Tartars, defeating them in 1380 in the famous battle of the Kulikovo Field.

Once again, the "victory of the Russian people" is wrapped up in the Orthodox faith through sports in this case.

For Duma member Vladimir Resin, the church will allow reclamation work in Butovo Park, south of the capital.

Resin is in charge of Programme 200, a plan to build 200 new churches in Moscow, a pet project of Patriarch Kirill (Gundyayev). “After sailors and civil defence, sports people had to have their own cathedral,” Resin said.

The construction of the new church is expected to take five to six years, but a provisional chapel and a big Sunday school are already in operation for children and young athletes.

Eventually the complex will include a pilgrim centre, a medical dispensary, a big swimming pool, a ballet school, and many other facilities.

The church will be able to hold up 2,000 people. In total, the complex will cover 17,000 square metres. It will be dedicated to personal development in all domains, spiritual, athletic and aesthetic.

After all the controversy surrounding the iconography in the Victory Church, it will be interesting to see what frescoes and mosaics will be incorporated in the new church.

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