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NAZRAN, March 04. /ITAR-TASS/. With less than three days remaining before the opening of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, the Paralympic torch relay was held in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia.
“The Paralympic flame relay across Ingushetia became the holiday both for athletes and the residents of the republic,” Ingushetia’s head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said before the start of the relay, which involved 60 people.
The leader added that today’s event “will give a fresh boost for the sports development [in Ingushetia] and will encourage hundreds of young people to be more actively involved in physical culture and sports.”
Yevkurov also said that the 2014 Winter Olympics, held in Sochi between February 7 and 23, were held at “a high level,” adding he hoped that the 2014 Winter Paralympics would be also of great success.
This will be Russia’s first ever Paralympic Games, which will be held in the Black Sea resort city between March 7 and 16.
The Paralympic flame is lit simultaneously in several Russia cities every day. The torch relay is set to finish at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on March 7, the day of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games opening.
Four days ago, the 2014 Sochi Paralympics cauldron was lit in the British city of Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, which is considered to be the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.
This was the first time, when the Paralympic torch relay was held outside the hosting country and such decision was made by the leadership of the International Paralympic Committee in August last year.
Beginning this year, the torch relay phase in Stoke Mandeville becomes an indispensable part of all Paralympic Flame relays. Sports competitions held in Stoke Mandeville in 1948 for people with disabilities inspired the first Paralympic Games, which took place in Italy’s Rome in 1960. The Stoke Mandeville competitions were organized by Ludwig Guttmann, a physician from Germany, who specialized in treatment of patients with disabilities.