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European Influence on Sport and Sport Press Formation and Development in Russia

Alekseev KA*, Gromova LP and Silantev KV

Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia.

*Corresponding Author:
Alekseev KA
Saint-Petersburg State University
Russia, Saint Petersburg
Universitetskaya Naberejnaya
7/9, 199034, Russia
Tel: +7 812 328-20-00
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: May 06, 2016; Accepted Date: June 02, 2016; Published Date: June 10, 2016

Citation: Alekseev KA, Gromova LP, Silantev KV. European Influence on Sport and Sport Press Formation and Development in Russia. Global Media Journal. 2016, S3:01

Copyright: © 2016 Alekseev KA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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The article deals with the phenomenon of foreign influence on sport and sport journalism development in Russia at the turn of XIX and XX centuries. Due to the number of objective circumstances, connected with the peculiarities of historical development in Russia, sport took roots difficultly in Russian society; in these conditions, a special role in its distribution belonged to the foreigners. The article evaluates the significance of contribution of people, inhabiting and coming to the Russian Empire, who represented different sport systems, accepted in Europe. The study of this problematic is of great importance, as foreign participation in formation of Russian sport and sport periodicals, highlighting it up to the Revolution in 1917, predetermined a number of specific features and vectors of development. Respectively, it is possible to trace "the genetic kinship" of the European sport with the Soviet sport system and Soviet physical-sport press, mainly used the traditions of pre-revolutionary period. Despite the stable opinion about the antagonism and insuperable contradictions of "Western" and "Soviet" sport system, they have common sources in the historical past.


Sport; Sport press; Foreign influence; The systems of physical development; Foreign communities; Sport games; Gymnastics


The significance of the problem under study

The evolution of sport press in one or another country in the definite period is determined, first of all, by two constituents - the sophistication of sport movement in whole and the state of journalism system. At the intersection of these two factors, the same as in the case with the other specialized press sphere, the specificity of the reflected subject, sport in this case, is of major significance. That is why the problem of peculiarities, directions and cause-and-effect relations in sport development becomes key and basic for the investigator of sport journalism for any further studies. In its turn, the system of sport organization in each country is being formed in dependence on the complex of reasons, involving the historical traditions, the type of state structure, the dominating ideology, the social-economic conditions, the level of science, engineering and social culture development.

For instance, as applied to the XX century, Tomlinson and Young distinguish several historically developed clusters of European sport: "Leaving aside the continuity of folk games (such as skittles, bowls, quoits), and regionally distinct activities such as hurling (Ireland) and bullfighting, we would contend that Europe had at least four clusters of sport with varying physical forms and cultural meanings across the twentieth century: the British, the German, the Scandinavian, and the Soviet" [1].

The unique peculiarities of sport system in France and its special role as a mediator in sport distribution from the "British cradle" further on to the European countries, are proved by Dietschy: "France occupies a special place in the history of European sport, halfway between that of the British on the one hand and other continental sporting cultures on the other" [2].

There is a number of investigations, describing the way how the institutes of sport and physical development had been developing in other regions of Europe and world: Latin and North America, former African colonies of European countries etc. [3-8]. The majority of authors agree, that sport, due to its immanent features, depending on the purpose, it is practiced for, can serve both to internationalization, harmonization of international and interstate relations, and present the efficient way to assert national identity and independence.

Problem statement

By the XIX century, sport has become an ordinary phenomenon for the well-grounded part of European population, where the drive for social health and physical perfection grows, as well as the increase of longevity and overcome of senility. However, the first attempts to distribute sport in Russia met serious opposition due to the number of factors, the sources of which lie in the history, geography, diversity of mentality, demography, religion, in social processes and cultural sphere. Publications in newspapers and magazines up to the beginning of the XX century show, that sport took roots in Russia quite difficultly. For instance, one of the most prominent sport figures of that time, Ivan Lebedev, recollected: "At that time, "sport" and "idiotism" meant almost equal. In the opinion of the society, only the man, unable to mental work, could take interest in weights, wrestling, gymnastics etc. [9].

This is not to say that sport remained absolutely alien phenomenon for Russians, but it was practiced by rather small groups of enthusiasts, frequently not understood and condemned even in their families. A complex process of sport ideas rooting in mass consciousness of the Russian society was explained by the peculiarities of the dominant mentality, originality in development and worldview of different classes: aristocracy, intelligentsia of different classes, clergy, merchants, peasantry and proletariat.

The sport, with the real body cult, obtained in Europe, faced great opposition in Russia, especially on the part of Russian intelligentsia, characterized by hypertrophied attention to spiritual and intellectual development, frequently at the expense of the corporal one. Despite quite wide range of sport types, practiced in Russia prior to the Revolution, the social base of this type of activity was quite narrow. Essentially, in the beginning it limited itself to the city bourgeoisie, more open to the cultural Western influence, which was associated with progress, energy and industry, and to the war aristocracy, who saw in sport an effective mean to improve the physical training of the army.

The investigator of the history of pre-revolutionary sport and Olympic movement A.Sunik wrote on this matter: "The problem of shift of foreign, in national experience in the sport sphere to the native ground was a constraining factor of Sport development in Russia. Sport cannot be "replanted", it shall be grown patiently [10]. It is quite natural, that people of foreign orientation became the sport pioneers. As the Westerners constituted the absolute minority in Russian society, the sport in Russia, mainly due to these reasons, bore narrow character" [10]. It is no wonder, that in such conditions, there were a lot of first sportsmen among the foreigners in Russia, less constrained by prejudices, and actively developed sport in their numerous communities.

To answer the question about the significance of contribution of those, who came and lived in Russian Empire and represented different sport systems, accepted in European countries, means to understand much in Russian sport life of the turn of the century: from the popularity or support level of one or another sport type up to typological specificity of Russian sport press. The study of this problematic is of great importance, as foreign participation in formation of Russian sport and sport periodicals, highlighted it up to the Revolution of 1917, and predetermined the number of specific features and development vectors.

Respectively, it is possible to trace "the genetic kinship" of the European sport with the Soviet sport system and Soviet physical-sport press, mainly used the traditions of prerevolutionary period. The circumstances of transformation of the pre-revolutionary sport system in the physical-sport system, cardinally different in principles, functions and purposes, provide an opportunity to make a conclusion, that "the Soviet sport and its press were created not on the blank space, but on the strong foundation of thoughts, best practices, models, proven techniques - on the foundation, that survived from the past. The Soviet period turned out to be the successor of traditions, which were disclaimed and dissociated, but it could not get rid of this succession impulse" [11]. This investigation is the subsequent logical step, aimed at understanding of the fact, how the sport traditions were formed prior to the Revolution, and, in particular, at the revelation of aspect, covering the foreign influence.

The Investigation Procedure

The selection of methodological procedures in the work is determined by the problematic and subject of investigation. The problem of understanding of formation, development and dimming processes of pre-revolutionary sport sphere, as a natural phenomenon, taking place under the influence of social, economic and cultural factors, typical of the Russian society of the XIX - the beginning of XX century, in conditions of insufficient study of the topic, requires appealing to the sources. Such authentic sources about the epoch under study are the sport periodicals, existed in the abovementioned period.

In the second half of the XIX century, Russian journalism presented the developed system of periodicals, aimed at different target groups [12]. Being generated in the XVIII century and being developed in keeping with the European traditions, it borrowed the typological experience of European press in many ways. Sport journalism in Russia became an important part of the system, supporting the life activity of the sport sphere. It was born practically following the organized formation of the first sport clubs - sport communities, clubs, leagues and their calendar competitions. It is the periodicals that contain the objective data on the history of sport development, free from ideological distortions of the following Soviet epoch, so valuable for modern investigators. Besides, the practice of existence of the sport press in some cases presents the samples of active borrowing and use of the foreign experience.

The publications, devoted to the considered topic, published in sport periodicals of the pre-revolutionary period (there were not less than 220 items by 1917), are analyzed in the study on the basis of objectiveness and systemacity principles, the unity of logical and historical approaches [11]. Speaking about methodological foundation, the work is based on the historical-comparative analysis, combined with the use of institutional analysis - because sport and sport journalism, as social institutions, are closely related with basic social institutions - and the ethnocultural analysis, the necessity of which is conditioned by the evidence of consideration of relations in the sport sphere of the Russian Empire subjects and the representatives of Russian communities.

The Results of Investigation

Press influence

Foreign influence on Russian sport had several interconnected aspects, the first of which is that absolute charm of the European culture in the eyes of Russian man. The European experience, the newest foreign tendencies, discoveries and inventions attracted attention of that part of Russian society, oriented at the West, maybe not so numerous in relation to the more conservative part of compatriots, but as a rule, significantly more active, dynamic and energetic. The investigator of sport journalism Voytik noted, that "throughout the whole XIX century, Russian society stayed under the influence of leading European countries. Such states, as France and England, were of special significance in this process. Their influence was traced in many spheres, including politics, economy, science, technologies, art, fashion, literature, language and sport" [13].

The representatives of Russian higher society had a possibility to travel abroad, to read European magazines and newspapers regularly, to get European education, to compare Russian and foreign realias and phenomena. These people stayed in the same information field, as the inhabitants of Central Europe, formed their views and believes in the same way, and, alongside with other elements of European culture and everyday life, adopted the ways of pastime. Thus, sport and relevant terminology entered to the life of Russian society, as well as the notions, ideas of behavior standards, beauty, fashion, corresponding to the sport, the required attributes etc.

Russian periodicals informed of sport, acquainting the public with it as with some curious novelty, which is practiced in free time in the West, trying to find the analogues to this phenomenon in Russian life. It is curious, that sport was mentioned even by those periodicals, that presented the tribune of Slavophils - the ideologic opponents of the Westerners. Thus, in 1845 the Moscow magazine "Muscovite" published the article "Sport, Hunting", where the readers can get the following information: "The Englishmen named any hunting as sport. Hunting with dogs, gun or bird; catching of hare, wolf, lion, elephant, butterfly; catching with fishing rod or dragnet; catching of trout or whale - everything is sport. Fistfight and fast walking, fighting and swimming, contest of jumpers, trotters, cocks, boats, yachts and others - all these are the sport (hunting) objects; each sport has its own sponsors in all classes from the king to simple occupant; its own heroes, fame, rules and, to say so, its own science" [14].

Newspaper articles of people, who were not only acquainted with the object, but were the specialists in matters of sport and physical development, had the greatest significance and benefit when acquainting the Russians with sport. Among such public figures, it is necessary to name the major general of the Imperial Army Aleksey Butovsky. He was the supporter and close friend of well-known P. de Kuberten, participated in Paris congress in 1892, where it was decided to revive the Olympic Games, attended the first Olympic Games in the recent history in 1896 in Athens, and became the first representative of Russia in International Olympic Committee.

The general Butovsky was the first Russian sport theorist, he left many curious observations and data on initial steps of sport movement in Russia and Europe. In 1893 Butovsky, published a cycle of review articles about the formation of physical development in France in the magazine "The Pedagogical Collection" - "Corporal Exercises in France", where he expressed his ideas on what is sport, what upbringing influence it has and why it is necessary to be inculcated to the society. It is curious, that Butovsky, in the end of the XIX century, distinguished two approaches - Swedish, i.e. gymnastics, and English - i.e. sport games, sport and athletics [15]. Modern investigators note constant and fruitful competence of these two approaches, connecting them territorially with continental Europe and Great Britain [1]. At that, the opinion, that it is necessary to use only one of the approaches for full development, was considered by Butovsky mistaken, that is why he devoted his review mainly to the French sport system, combining both in a balanced manner [15].

Proving a special mission of France in the sport sphere, as a linking chain and mediator between England, the motherland of sport, and the rest of Europe, as it was mentioned in the beginning with reference to the French scientist, it is possible to recollect the stories of some Russian sport magazines, which took definite representatives of French press as samples [2].

For instance, the Moscow magazine "Cyclist" (1894-1904) clearly oriented at one of the most popular and authoritative publications of cycling in the world - the French magazine "Paris-Velo", trying to imitate it in everything, up to pink paper. Moreover, having existed for two years as the weekly news magazine, in the third year it became to be issued as the daily newspaper, trying to repeat the successful experience of Paris publication, thus becoming the first sport newspaper in Russia. When in 1897, "Paris-Velo" changed its program and began to be called "Journal des Sports", literally in one year, the Russian magazine "Cyclist" made the same changes: extended the program, included all kinds of sport, shifted from narrowlyspecialized publication to the universal magazine.

Here is the other, not less eloquent sample. The first magazines in Russia, which considered sport, first of all, as an important factor for physical development and human beauty - "Power and Health" and "Beauty and Power" - do not conceal, that they adopted the program and model of the authoritative French magazine "La Culture physique", "the illustrated magazine about the physical upbringing and sport", founded by the well-known sport figure Syurye. The similarities stroke the eyes even with superficial glance - the magazines' covers, the selected illustrations. It is obvious, that Russian magazines used the same topics, as their French prototypes - physical education and physical culture in the army, at school, in the university, the possibilities of woman's physical development, sport for children. This succession is shown in structure of item material, in the presence of stable divisions and columns, and even in assonance of their names. Everything in these publications was subject to only one purpose - to present for the readers this way to the ideal of truly developed personality.

Moreover, the man, named by the contemporaries, "the father of sport journalism in Russia" had the French surname. George Aleksandrovich Dyuperron, born in mixed French- German marriage in St. Petersburg, became the central figure of Russian sport life of the beginning of the XX century. He was quite hard-working and skillful organizer of sport contests, the founder of professional refereeing in many kinds of sport, responsible sport historian, who had deep encyclopedic knowledge and richest sport library, the first theorist of sport journalism in Russia. By 1917, he was a secretary of St. Petersburg football league, the secretary of Russian Olympic Committee, the councilor of the general Voeykov, who controlled the whole Russian sport.

The enthusiastic evaluation of his activity, given by one of sport historians, is not exaggerated: "All major events in the history of native sport at the turn of XIX-XX century happened with his direct, the most active participation. He wrote many magnificent pages to the history of native sport, both literally and figuratively" [10]. The activity of Dyuperron is the brightest, but not the single sample of the benefit, brought to the Russian sport by the foreigners, assimilated in Russia; they were less constrained by the prejudices and preconceptions, typical of Russian society, than the natives, who were afraid of public judgment. Russian sport and sport journalism at the turn of centuries was presented by the number of French, German, English, Scotland, Polish, Swedish families, that occupied a rightful place in grafting of bases of physical health to Russians together with the Russians themselves.

The role of foreign communities

Apart from distant influence of the European sport by means of magazines, newspapers and first sport enthusiasts, familiar with the sport development in the West, Russian audience could directly observe, how the representatives of foreign communities practice sport. St. Petersburg, more than other Russian cities, was open to new foreign trends, including Western values of body culture and modern sport; it was a capital, a large port, the European front of the Empire and as a place of concentration of numerous foreign communities and a part of Russian society, more oriented at the West. New kinds of sport came from the European countries and America through St. Petersburg; they were firmly established, competing to traditional Russian devotions, such as horse racing and hunting. Automobilism, aeronautics, athletics, football, boxing etc. became more popular in the Northern capital and in other cities in the beginning of the XX century thanks to the case example of foreigners. "Sport" magazine in 1908 wrote the following: "Sport pioneers were the foreign colonies, located in large centers of out motherland. Here the bicycle appeared for the first time, here the lawn tennis and football were played, here the first tourists travelled by car, here all possible sport communities appeared" [16].

In 1890, Russia, following Europe and America, was overflown by the cycling wave; this period was named "the cycling era" in the sport press. By 1892, the county counted 25 officially established cycling communities and up to 10000 "cyclists" - it was the name for cycling devotees. Then the first magazines, devoted to cycling, appeared; there were published the lists of those, who got the permit for cycling in city streets from the authorities of different cities; the foreigners constituted the majority, especially in the beginning of 1890. They not only showed the example to the Russians, but brought the organizational frameworks, accepted in Europe, to the Russian sport. In 1895, at the height of cycling tourism, all-Russian organization - the Community of cyclisttourist - appeared in Russia; by the analogy with the European samples, also had the name Russian Touring Club.

We can see the similar situation in other kinds of sport, brought from Europe to Russia. For instance, tennis, or, as it was said up to the second third of the XX century - lawn tennis; it was "a peculiar hybrid of old ball games, created by the retired Major of British cavalry Wolter Klopton Wingfield", which appeared in Russia in the middle of the XIX century. In 1860 in St. Petersburg, and later in whole Russia, the lawn tennis clubs were organized by the example, accepted in European countries; they united the representatives of upper classes and foreigners. When in 1908 the All-Russian Union of Lawn Tennis Clubs was organized, it was headed by the wellknown and powerful sport functionary and benefactor Arthur Makferson, ethnic Englishman. A broker of St. Petersburg stock exchange, a successful banker and businessman, we was also a chairman of All-Russian unions of rowing and football, and he contributed much forces and facilities to the development of these sport kinds in Russia; he was honored by the medal of St. Stanislav of the 3rd degree by the Imperial decree. The investigator Glezerov provides the statement of contemporaries about him: "Hardly ever who in Russia, but Makferson, did so much to distribute the ideas of sport, to implement them practically and support. All kinds of sport, guided by Makferson, were fundamentally considered and busily carried into practice up to the end - that is why the success always accompanied him" [17]. Let us add that Marferson also became the publisher of special magazine "Lawn Tennis", which was the only publication, highlighting this kind of sport in Russia.

The activity of one more Englishmen, who lived in St. Petersburg, John Richardson, presents the same perfect example. His energy and efforts in promotion of his favorite kind of sport - football - resulted in appearance of the Petersburg football league in Russian capital, the first in Russia. It was his initiative to hold the two-circle competition for the Silver Cup, donated by the manufacturer and sponsor Thomas Aspend and named after him. During several years, the Aspend Cup was actually a championship of the capital. Three teams participated in the first game, and the Scottish from the club "Nevka" (founded in 1897 by the workers at Sampson manufacture) became the first champions.

However, the history of Russian pre-revolutionary sport knows more impressive samples, when the sport movement, borrowed abroad, becomes nearly the main support of national sport. This refers to that unique phenomenon of national scale, as "Sokol Movement".

In Russia from the XIX century, different gymnastics systems were widely spread; they were taught in educational institutions and used to improve the physical training of soldiers in the army and fleet. In the beginning of XX century, Sokol gymnastics (a prototype of modern artistic gymnastics), entering into the sport-patriotic movement - "Sokol Movement", took the special place in popularity and government support among different gymnastics schools (French, Swedish, German) and trends. "Sokol Movement" moved beyond the gymnastics system, it has purely sport side - Sokol gymnastics closely intertwined with the political constituent.

"Sokol Movement" came to Russia from Czech Republic, where it was developed under the national movement, directed, first of all, against the Austrian dominance. "In Russia, the first "Sokol nest" was founded in Tiflis in 1900. Later the communities were opened in the other cities: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, Tashkent, Kamianets- Podilskyi, Yekaterinoslav, Egoryevka, Chernigov, Poltava, Voronezh, Orel, Novorossiisk, Taganrog, Novoxherkassk" [18]. After the hard defeat in Russo-Japanese war, the Sokol Movement manage to elaborate and successively implement the ideas of nation consolidation, body and spirit advancement, so necessary at that time for Russian society. The tasks of "Sokols" involved the upbringing of young generation in patriotic traditions and improvement of sport training.

Sokol gymnastics in pre-revolutionary Russia took the first place among different schools and directions in gymnastics, thanks to its attractiveness, popularity and government support; it was actively used for physical training in gymnasiums, to train soldiers and officers in the field. The guides and popularizes of Sokol gymnastics and Sokol ideas were the gymnastics teachers, invited from Czech Republic. In 1910 in Moscow four such teachers - Vondrachek, Olshanik, Maresh and Rozgon founded the magazine "Sokol", which mainly repeated the Prague magazine "Sokol" and propagated the "Sokol" ideas in Russia.


The creation of history of sport and physical culture development in Russia was one of the priority growth areas of sport science development in the USSR. The first works, textbooks and guidelines were created in 1920, and, beginning from 1960, there were defended nearly two dozens of doctoral thesis on this topic [19]. However, due to the existing ideology of the majority of investigations, the problem of participation of foreign citizens in formation of sport movement in Russia was frequently concealed and suppressed, and the facts of such participation were minimized and leveled out.

The period from 1990 to 2000 became the time for more objective evaluation of foreign contribution to Russian sport. This topic was fragmentary covered in the works by such investigators, as Demeter, Mikhailov, Yu Myagkov, Tolstoy, Sunik, Chistyakov and others [10,20-24]. However, this problematic has not become the subject of close and consistent study on the part of Russian sport historians.

The interest of foreign investigators to Russian sport was mainly conditioned by the success of the USSR sportsmen and teams in large international competitions, that is why different sides of soviet sport became the objects under study for foreign specialists: the training system of elite sportsmen, controlled by the state, the practice of use of spectacular sport for ideological purposes, political and bureaucratic centralization and control, scientific and medical sport support. In such conditions, the historical preconditions for Soviet sport system formation, its origin, took a backseat and got much less attention. Nevertheless, such authoritative specialists, as J. Riordan and R. Edelman noted, that the majority of kinds of sport, so popular in the West, began to penetrate into Russia after they were brought by foreigners, especially by British descents, living in the capital, as well as in large industrial and port cities [25-27].

In particular, Elderman wrote: "Football was brought by British sailors, who played this game in 1860 in port Odessa; the British were the main popularizes of football in Russian capital at the edge of centuries" [26].

Obvious fragmentarily and discontinuity of the obtained data makes us consider the role and participation of foreign people in details, as an important factor in development of Russian sport and sport press. Modern development of sport, its highlighting in the Russian mass media present the object of another study. It is possible, that the presentation of the sport competitions, where the presentation of sportsmen victories are focused on, is a part of no policy, but it can be taken as a hypothesis, to be proven or rejected [28].


Sport development in Russia in the beginning of the XX century increased with tempo. Year to year the number of sport communities and clubs increased. By 1900 there were nearly 50 sport communities; by 1904 their number reached 100. The list, presented by the Russian Olympic Committee by the hygienic exhibition in St. Petersburg, comprised 445 communities and clubs in 1914, and by January 1, 1915, there were 1266 sport organizations, which united 50 thousand sportsmen from 332 population centers.

The activity of sport communities, as a key link of sportgymnastics movement, promoted the improvement of sport organizational bases. Initiated by the representatives of largest sport communities and clubs, the leagues and unions on different sports began to be organized in the country; they united different sport organizations. Obviously, this organizational basis, having the clubs, leagues and uniting unions as the constituents, hierarchically organized elements, was brought by the sport enthusiasts, who came to Russia from abroad. They had the sport systems in front of their eyes that were created in their motherland, and transferred them to the Russian soil.

Thus, the merit of foreign sport pioneers lied not only in distribution of sport kinds, but also in definite influence on the whole system of Russian sport. Thanks to this influence, Russian sport was developed in line with the single stream with the rest Europe, objectively giving way a little to such countries, as England, Sweden, Germany and France, the sport history of which began earlier; however, thanks to active involvement of Russian population to the sport activities, each year this gap became less.

Great patriotism awakening among the Russian sportsmen was caused by the beginning of the First World War, when "sport mobilization" was announced to protect the country. As for the subjects of German and Austria-Hungary, who lived in Russia, this patriotic wave turned into progressing xenophobia? The magazine "To Sport!" in summer of 1914, informed: "Such event, as declaration of all adult men Germans to be captured, affected the top of Russian sport, the pioneers of which were many German and Austrian subjects together with the English ones in the capitals" [29]. The outstanding figures of Olympic committees, the members of sport communities, the colleagues of popular magazines, the authors of methodological guidelines and manuals, real enthusiasts of different sport kinds were among the first war prisoners, deported from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The crisis of Sokol Movement both in Russia and in Europe happened during the war. Austrian government stopped the activity of Slavonic Sokol Union and Czech Sokol Community in Czech Republic, arrested the chairman of both companies - Doctor Sheiner, closed all Sokol magazines. Not only had this affected painfully the Sokol Movement. With the beginning of the war, one of Sokol key postulates - the idea to create the union of all brotherly Slavonic nations - crashed. The magazine "Sokol" expressed in his program article, when it was revealed, that nothing prevents the Polish, Czech and Croatian sokols, battled as a past of Austrian-Hungarian army, from shooting to their Russia "brothers": "There is no Sokol Movement without the Slavonic idea" [30]. By 1916, the central organized control body - The Union of Russian Sokol Movement - practically stopped functioning and convolved its work because of selfdestruction of the majority of nests in Russia.

Even by this separately taken sample, we see that the new Soviet sport system used the pre-revolutionary Russian sport as a basis, which, in its turn, appeared as a result of crossing of several directions of sport development, coming from the West, their interpenetration into Russian soil and interaction with traditional Russian culture. Thus, the originality of Russian sport in the beginning of the XX century, the same as the specificity of Soviet sport, has common features with European sport history, grafted by the foreign influence, felt throughout several decades.


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