2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ host city Samara ambassador Oleg Kononenko visited Samara Volunteer Center on the eve of the Cosmonautics Day, celebrated each year in Russia on April 12. There astronaut met with activists of the federal and municipal World Cup volunteer programme. The activists asked ambassador various questions: what dreams cosmonauts see during the flight and on Earth, what a person experiences when looking at our planet from a great distance, how he feels about football and what team he roots for.
Oleg Kononenko listened attentively to the volunteer programme representatives about the recruitment progress, how to prepare a volunteer, how much time they will spend with organizers and visitors during the World Cup.
"A crucial mission will fall on the shoulders of the volunteer programme participants - to help both locals and guests to feel comfortable in Samara during the World Cup," said Oleg Kononenko. "It seems to me that volunteers and cosmonauts have a major thing in common – it's curiosity. As a cosmonaut should be interested in understanding the world, active in their studies, a volunteer just as well should be open to everything new to help people. "
Kononenko not only answered the activists' questions , but also played table football with them - it has already become a tradition of the volunteer meetings with the ambassadors.
"For us, members of the volunteer program, it is a great honor to meet Oleg Dmitrievich," shared his impressions the Volunteer Center director Vladimir Batrov. "I am, like many of our activists, a graduate of the Samara University Faculty of aircraft engines, so I know Kononenko's name from textbooks. It's great that now I'm bound with the Hero of the Russian Federation by the FIFA world Cup and of course I'm very pleased that the cosmonaut is so sensitive and attentive to our guests and participants."
On the Cosmonautics Day Oleg Kononenko visited Samara stadium construction site. After examining the stadium, Samara ambassador compared it to the launch pad of a cosmodrome.
"The launch pad from which we are sent into space can fit in the stadium football field," he said. "The amount of concrete and metal is impressive, of course, from the engineering and technological side the launch complexes of the cosmodromes are much more complicated. But the Samara stadium looks impressive. The arena dome is very intricate. I can not wait to see the stadium finished, because its design resembles something from outer space."