Exactly one year before Minsk hosts the 2019 European Games, IAAF President Sebastian Coe was in the Belarusian capital for the opening of the Dynamo Stadium following its latest reconstruction.
Dynamo Stadium has undergone several transformations over the years. After opening in 1934, it was reconstructed and expanded in 1939 before being destroyed in the Second World War. It was rebuilt between 1947 and 1954, then further renovated in the late 1970s in preparation to host football matches for the 1980 Olympic Games.
The stadium’s latest reconstruction, which began in 2012, has athletics at its core. It now has a nine-lane Mondo track, plus a four-lane warm-up track, making it suitable to host international athletics competitions. It will be used for athletics at the 2019 European Games.
“The city of Minsk and the Government of Belarus have stayed true to a vision of a multi-sport stadium,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “There are plenty of arguments put forward to separate sports into their own facilities but this is not an argument I subscribe to. Sport is too important to our lives and the lives of our young people to get precious about individual facilities for individual sport.
“We want to see more stadiums around the world that can host multisport events and be used for community events. There is no better sound than the roar of the crowd at a sports event that echoes around the city that surrounds it. There is no better way to make sure sport remains a central part of everyone’s lives.”