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2021-06-24 Other articles >

Something about sports, friendship and world peace

'Oh, sport, you are the world' - the members of the Red Sports International thought and decided to show the bourgeoisie that the proletarians are no worse. For this purpose, in 1928, the first ever World Spartakiad was held ‒ an international working sports holiday. Only representatives of the working classes, proletarians in several generations, were lucky enough to participate in it.
The movement was intended to become an alternative to the world Olympic Games, in which representatives of bourgeois-capitalist countries participated. After all, just at this time, the IX Olympic Games ended in Amsterdam, in which, for obvious political reasons, representatives of the socialist camp did not take part.
The holiday received the symbolic name 'Spartakiad', in honor of the name of the leader of the rebellious gladiators. The venue was chosen, of course, the capital of world communism, Moscow. Athletes from 17 countries gathered there in August 1928, a total of 7,125 people took part in the competition.
Such a magnificent and solemn event was timed to an equally grandiose event: the start of the first five-year plan. At the same rapid pace as the plan for the 5-year development of the national economy was implemented ('You give a five-year plan in 4 years!'), the preparation of the participants of the sports contest was underway.
Its significance for the development of the sports movement in the post-revolutionary world space is great. After all, athletes from the outback, real nuggets who are able to give a head start to professional athletes-representatives of the capitalist camp-have moved to the first place.
The initiative took root, and soon the red Spartakiad raced 'ahead of the whole planet', reaching the very outskirts, stirring up the public in search of champions 'from the machine and tractor'. For, as one of the Soviet slogans said, ' today you are a physical education student, and tomorrow you are a fighter.'
In 1931, the USSR approved the complex of sports competitions 'Ready for work and Defense', which went down in history as the 'TRP'. It included more than 20 tests, including quite understandable running, swimming, shooting, as well as 'aristocratic' horse riding. Thanks to him, hundreds of thousands of ordinary workers were able to discover their sports potential.
In 1936, the next World Spartakiad was supposed to take place, but the ominous silhouette of the Second World War was already looming on the threshold. Therefore, the sports event has faded into the background. However, the idea of preparing 'strong muscles and a sharp look for every worker' has acquired a special meaning in these conditions. Soviet propaganda posters shouted about this at every corner.
A series of original postage stamps 'World Spartakiad' of 1935 was also dedicated to the theme of sports competitions. Its author was a wonderful Soviet artist Vasily Zavyalov. Having started creating drawings for postage stamps at the age of 19, during his career he became the owner of a portfolio of more than 600 postage stamps. Many of them have gained worldwide fame.
The miniatures depict athletes whose dynamics and desire for victory Zavyalov managed to accurately display. And, despite the fact that the series is dedicated to an event that never came true, these stamps are of great interest to collectors.
Some instances deserve special attention. For example, a very real athlete became the prototype for a brand representing the sport of 'running'. His name, Alexander Demin, was on the lips of the whole country at that time, he was an absolute and multiple champion in running, long jump, pentathlon and decathlon.
A skier in a slightly relaxed pose, a football player running after a ball or an athlete hovering over the water surface ‒ all the images show the dynamics and pulse of life, a hot desire for victory.
The series of stamps 'World Spartakiad of 1935' is one of those rarities about which we can say: there is a stamp, but there is no Spartakiad. However, the creative component of these 10 postage stamps is priceless. It is they who open the sports theme in Soviet philately, being the first multi-color series dedicated to sports.
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