Olympics committee sets record €14.7 million budget for 2022

EOK head Urmas Sõõrumaa.
EOK head Urmas Sõõrumaa. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The national olympics governing body has approved a 2022 budget of close to €15 million, the highest figure to date, on the back of recent successes and ahead of a busy calendar next year.

The Estonian Olympic Committee's (EOK) board has endorsed the figure, which follows what it calls, in suitably understated Estonian terms, a "very good" performance at last August's Tokyo Summer Olympics, where Estonia bagged two medals, and looking ahead to February's Winter Olympics in Beijing.

EOK chief and real estate magnate Urmas Sõõrumaa, says Estonian sports as a whole have done well in trying circumstances.

Sõõrumaa said that: "Thanks to our good sportspeople and enthusiasts, we are maintaining our level, but we need more to make our dreams come true, and the budget reflects this," Soorumaa said.

The EOC's board has approved the €14.7 million 2022 budget entry, while Erich Teigamägi, EOC vice-president, said that the goals the organization set ahead of the Tokyo games had been met.

Teigamägi said: "After a long wait, we got a large number of athletes in the top 20 - 58 percent to be precise. We had four Olympic champions; something that last happened 13 years ago, plus Katrina Lehis won a bronze medal," he said.

The four olympic champions were in fact the women's epee team which Lehis was a part of. Lehis herself was also granted some land in western Estonia, after her performance in Tokyo.

Katrina Lehis. Autor/allikas: Karli Saul

"The committee therefore proposes that the participation of the Estonian national team at the Tokyo Olympics be assessed as very good," Teigamägi continued.

Of the €14.7 million, nearly half will go on preparation for the next games and for other competitions.

Subsidies for sports organizations comprise most of the rest, while €776,500 will go towards promoting sport for all, and €469,000 to promote youth sport.

In addition to February's winter olympics, the Winter European Youth Olympics Festival will start in Vuokatti, Finland, take place in March, and the Summer Youth Olympics Festival in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, will be held in July next year.

Estonia has secured places for the Beijing Winter Olympics in figure skating, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, biathlon, cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing and ski jumping.

Around 20 sportspeople will make up Estonia's delegation, EOC Sports Director Martti Raju estimates.

Past Estonian winter olympic stars include women's cross country skier Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, now a Reform Party MP, and men's skier Andrus Veerpalu.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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