The largest portion of the NOC’s budget for 2021 amounts to 7.2 and will be allocated to Olympic preparations and elite sports while the financing of sport organizations will be covered in the amount of more than 5.5 million euros. Youth projects will receive 275,400 euros, and 145,000 will be allocated to education and research projects.
Urmas Sõõrumaa, the President of the NOC, expressed his hopes that full-scale sporting activities can be resumed in the upcoming year. “Starting in July, three Olympic events will take place: the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Youth Olympics Festival in Vuokattis, and the Winter Olympics in Beijing. I believe our athletes will be able to demonstrate good results” Sõõrumaa said.
Sõõrumaa voiced his surprise at the NOC and sports in general not having received an additional financing for the promotion of the recreational sport . “The NOC has already launched a number of major long-term programmes to promote our health, which are meant for all Estonian residents. Unfortunately, the decision-makers in our country who are making decisions costing billions in this complicated period, did not see an opportunity to support our long-term goals from the national budget. But there is still hope some aid might be available at the beginning of next year,” he added.
Martti Raju, the NOC sports director, noted that the organizational team of the Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic confirmed the Olympics would be taking place and qualification would last until the beginning of July. “The results of all the qualification events that had to take place and did take place before the pandemic will remain valid, there have been cosmetic changes to the standards, but there are seven more months to qualify,” Raju said.
Estonia currently has 10 athletes competing in 5 sports who have qualified for the Olympics. There are four people in athletics: Maicel Uibo and Johannes Erm in decathlon, Magnus Kirt in javelin and Tiidrek Nurme in marathon. Estonia’s participation in wrestling event has been secured by Heiki Nabi (-130kg) in Greco-Roman wrestling and Epp Mäe (-76kg) in women’s wrestling, and, in sailing, by Ingrid Puusta on an RS:X and Karl-Martin Rammo on a Laser Standard. There are also two competing spots in men’s road bicycle racing, both in the mass start event and individual start event. Raju believes the final composition of the Estonian team could include 35 athletes.
The general assembly also approved the standards of qualification for the Peking Winter Olympics, which still might change due to the pandemic. “Working groups of international federations have been authorised to change the standards depending on the situation in order to the unequal treatment of the athletes. On the other hand, the general number of athletes in some sports has changed to ensure there are equal numbers of male and female athletes,” Raju explained.