My name is Sagitov Ilias. I’m from a big city of Ufa, Russia. It is big in terms of Russia with population of 1.1 mln people. In Russia, the city is known as the capital of oil-making republic, the place where the best honey is produced and the place where Salavat Yulaev ice-hockey club plays its games. Ice-Hockey is the most loved sports in Ufa. Probably because of the weather conditions. It’s kind of cold here. And because the governor of the republic used to love this sports. This fact influenced me as well. I’m a big fan of ice-hockey and football.
From the earliest childhood I’m passionate about sports. When I was ten years old my father bought me my first football and I felt pure happiness. Since that time I have been playing football at school and at university. The same year I occasionally saw a hockey game between Salavat Yulaev Ufa and Metallurg Novokuznetsk on TV. The second time when I felt pure happiness was in 2008, when Salavat Yulaev became the champions of the Russian Superleague. I will never forget the moment when I cried in front of a TV.
Later on, when I entered the university I gained a chance to get to know hockey better. My teacher at the university was the member of an organizing committee of IIHF World U20 Ice−hockey Championship in Ufa and as I was good at English and hockey, she offered me to be the Sweden national team’s interpreter and team-host. This was my first experience of working in hockey and third moment of pure happiness. After that, I had the chance to be in the organizing committee of International Children’s Games in Ufa.
Later on I was invited to be the team host of Sweden U18 hockey team at IIHF World Championship in Sochi. This was a test event before the Olympic Games, where I was a team host of Women’s Sweden National Hockey team. It’s worth mentioning that every ice-hockey event I worked at was the time I worked for Team Sweden. All four tournaments gave me the chance to communicate with Swedish people, ice-hockey players mostly. All of these events gave me the chance to become friends with such players as William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs), Andre Burakovski (Washington Capitals), Jacob De La Rose (Montreal Canadiens). Nevertheless, the best was yet to come.
I was invited to the Sochi Olympics. As a volunteer. During that time I was a student of Romance-German Philology Department of Bashkir State University (Ufa, Russia), where I studied English and German languages. I’m no good at German though. The day I got the invitation I started collecting the documents and passing the exams in advance, I left one missing though. Later I got criticized for it by the dean, but you do not miss such a chance, right?
During the Olympics I understood that in future I want to be a part of something big. This was a huge event not only for me, it was a big sports festival for Russia and the whole world. I worked as a Team Liasion Officer for Women’s Ice-Hockey Team Sweden. You don’t miss a chance to work, communicate and spend time with Swedish girls, right? No. You run at it.
Team Liasion is a huge work, especially at such a big sports event as the Olympics. The good thing about that time was that I already had the experience, I knew how to do this job and I knew the people which I had to work with. Basically, you are a representative of the LOC attached to the team, who must solve all the issues, who must know everything about the policies, logistics, schedules, venue etc.
The Sochi Olympics have presented me such great memories as simple as playing PlayStation with Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins and Team Finland goalkeeper), being around such players as Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby or Henrik Lundqvist. As simple as that. Apart from that I have been to the most important games of the Olympics.
Attending the Olympic Games gave me the feeling of being an important part of a giant mechanism which has the mission of making the greatest celebration of the world. Everything worked in favor of the result – the greatest Olympic Games in the history.
At that point, Sochi became my second hometown. Here I spent and would spend me greatest memories. Olympics, RIOU and FIFA World Cup were yet to come. And I did not know that yet.
After Sochi I was a team host of Malmo Redhawks hockey team in Ufa at Junior Club World Cup, but particularly Olympics made me want to work in sports industry.
I would like to use all my experience for the benefit of sports development. Graduating from Russian International Olympic University gave me the necessary knowledge and skills to unlock my big potential in sports industry. During the study, I started to work in FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee as the Team Base Camp Coordinator for Team Brazil in the Host-City of Sochi. I think, I successfully managed the preparation process of the training site and the hotel to the operational period of FIFA World Cup 2018.
The operational period of the World Cup requires high competence,