The official closing ceremony of the 61st International Mathematical Olympiad took place on 28 September, in the Mariinsky hall of Herzen University.
For a week, the whole world eagerly followed the contest. And there was a lot to worry about, since the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the event online. Still, the organizing committee managed to preserve all its long-standing traditions and even establish a new one. During the closing ceremony, Sergei Bogdanov, Rector of Herzen University, showed the audience a Mentor’s Medal, which looks almost exactly like a participant’s one, but with the following engraving on its reverse: “To a teacher from a grateful student.” He noted, “Here, we strongly appreciate the teachers’ and mentors’ contribution to their students’ success, as Herzen University is the oldest teacher-training university in Russia. Today, you have a unique and unprecedented opportunity to not only receive a medal, but to present one to a person you deem worthy.”
In his speech, Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov compared Olympiads such as IMO to conventional sports events, “For one person to set a record, millions must work out and do sports; similarly, for a researcher to make a revolutionary discovery, millions of school students must work hard in class, solve advanced problems and strive to win intellectual competitions.”
All in all, 105 national teams took part in the Olympiad this year. All over the world, regional centres monitored compliance with the rules of the competition. Each country or region was covered by an IMO Board representative.
Russia was represented by 6 students:
Danila Dyomin, Sochi, gold medal;
Aleksei Lvov, Novosibirsk, gold medal;
Ivan Gaidai-Turlov, Moscow, silver medal;
Anton Sadovnichy, Moscow, silver medal;
Danil Sibgatullin, Kazan, silver medal;
Maksim Turaevsky, Moscow, silver medal.
As a result, the Russian team unofficially ended up second in the unofficial team contest, after China.
Li Jinmin from China became the absolute winner with the perfect score of 42 points.
The Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the Governor of Saint Petersburg and the President of the IMO Board Geoff Smith surprised the audience with another announcement: next year, the 62th International Mathematical Olympiad will again be held in St Petersburg.
Governor of St Petersburg Alexander Beglov emphasized, “Our city has a lot of experience in hosting large-scale events, and we are happy to invite you to St Petersburg in 2021!”
After the ceremony, the Russian team and its coaches, including the head coach Kirill Sukhov, met with Viktor Basyuk, Deputy Minister of Education, Sergei Bogdanov, Rector of Herzen University, Irina Aslanyan, Deputy Chair of the Committee for Education, and Sergei Rukhschin, associate professor at the Department of Mathematical Analysis and full professor at Herzen University.
The IMO was organized by the Ministry of Education, the Government of Saint Petersburg. Herzen University and the Presidential Physics and Mathematics Lyceum No. 239 and sponsored by Huawei.
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A recording of the official closing ceremony is available on the IMO 2020 YouTube channel at: