MINSK, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Belarus will send a delegation of 10 athletes to compete in the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, which will be held in Russia’s resort city of Sochi between March 7 and 15, Oleg Shepel, the chairman of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee, said on Wednesday.
“We have prepared 10 athletes for the Games in Sochi, and they will be competing in cross-country skiing and biathlon,” Shepel said. “The team is completely ready to show good results and, above all, the high level of moral spirit.”
The official said that this year’s overall number of people in the Belorussian delegation was reduced compared with the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Canada’s Vancouver, and it was done to save money, which can be channelled for preparations of future Paralympic athletes.
Shepel also said that, in his opinion, the Russian team would take most medals at the upcoming Paralympic Games, since the team “has a higher potential than other teams.”
At the 2010 Paralympic Games in Canada, the Belorussian team won a total of nine medals. Two gold and eight bronze medals were snatched in cross-country skiing competitions, and one more bronze medal was grabbed in biathlon.
“At the moment we cannot count on the same result [in Sochi],” Shepel said. “We have never set any tasks concerning the number of medals, and will never do this. This most important task is the promotion of sports among people with disabilities and their rehabilitation.”
“Our Paralympic athletes have already achieved more for themselves than just medals,” he said. “Although, we would be glad if they won medals [in Sochi]."