One of the most famous wrestlers of the 20th century, the triple Olympic gold medallist Aleksandr Medved, is to be added to the list of Star Ambassadors for Minsk 2019.
Medved, 80, sometimes known as the Bear of Belarus, is expected to be granted this honour later this month during a wrestling test event.
Biathlete and four-time Olympic champion Darya Domracheva was first to receive the accolade, which is part of a drive to promote awareness of the second European Games, scheduled to take place in the Belarusian capital between 21 and 30 June.
Circus figures Askold and Edgard Zapashnye, known for their expertise in training large predators, have since followed in Domracheva’s footsteps.
Minsk 2019 Organising Committee chief executive George Katulin told insidethegames there were likely to be seven Star Ambassadors in total.
Medved, who also won nine World Championship medals – including seven golds – over the space of a decade, enjoyed his period of Olympic dominance between 1964 and 1972.
At the 1968 competition in Mexico City, he is said to have dislocated or broken a finger during a match and immediately put it back in place himself in front of his disbelieving opponent.
In 2001, he was selected as the best Belarusian athlete of the 20th century.
He competed for the now defunct Soviet Union.