What about the so-called millionaires’ sports? Can Soviet youth afford them?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

We speak of the sport of millions, having in mind that millions go in for sports. We do not speak of millionaires' sports, since money doesn't come into the picture. Anyone in the USSR, whether he is a famous champion or an amateur athlete, who wants to take up one of the sports that comes under this heading in the West can do so; he doesn't have to break his head looking for money to pay for the gear and the use of facilities. Yet, "millionaires' sports" are expensive sports in this country too. For instance the horse on which Yelena Petushkova won the Olympic and world titles cost tens of thousands of dollars. The motorcycle used by the world cham­pion Gennady Moiseyev cost more than 10,000 dol­lars. But none of that money came out of their pockets.

So who paid for them?

Take sports flying, for example.

There are flying clubs in practically all the re­publican and regional centres of the country. They get their gear and equipment direct from the fac­tory through centralised channels. The costs are carried by the Central Council of the society for technical sports. Its clubs are open to anyone over the age of 18 enjoying good health. That last is a must. The entrance fee is a mere 30 kopecks, and annual membership dues are also 30 kopecks. That, incidentally, is the sum total paid at any of the Soviet sports clubs or societies.