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Putin promises to support Russian Paralympic athletes

March 05, 2014, 9:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian president promised to attend an opening ceremony of the Paralympics

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© ITAR-TASS/Evgeni Kurskov

MOSCOW, March 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes for successful performance of Russian Paralympic athletes in the southern Russian city of Sochi. He promised to attend an opening ceremony of the Paralympics, if his working schedule allows him to do so, and to attend competitions.

“The Paralympic Games is a logical continuation of the Olympics,” the Russian president said in an interview with Russian TV channels. He recalled that in1948, in Great Britain, a competition of wheelchair disabled people of World War Two was heldf or the first time, and that later turned into Paralympic movement.

Putin admitted that he hoped for successful performance of Russian Paralympic team in Sochi, “We are certainly looking forward to victories, moreover, we know the capabilities of our Paralympians.” “At the previous Paralympics they were among the first ones, they were on top. Chief executives of the International Paralympic Committee said this straightforwardly that they expect the brightest performances from Russian Paralympians. We look forward to this as well,” the president said.

The president noted that Russia, as the host of the Paralympics, would be pleased with successes of other teams. “I believe that when we host major international competitions, all our guests are our people,” Putin noted. “First of all, these is certainly our athletes, but also our guests. Everyone should be equal for us,” he added.

Putin promised that he would come to attend an opening ceremony of the Paralympics on March 7. “Yes, I would like to do it very much,” the president said in reply to a question whether he plans to attend competitions. He added that he was going to watch Paralympic telecasts.

In his view, ice sledge hockey and cross-country skiing are very interesting and “when the Paralympians perform [at competitions] in alpine skiing, this is fantastic, this is just some kind of circus art.”

The president believes that media coverage of the Paralympics requires high professionalism. “There are people who cover sport events permanently, this is sport journalism, particularly sport TV journalism, this is a very specific kind of work, it is very important to show the heat of competition there, it is very important to show the beauty of movement, willpower of an athlete,” Putin noted.

“All this demands special professionalism, it is not enough to show just from one camera how an athlete jumps or plays hockey or skates or performs in alpine skiing. This is a special art to show the beauty of sport,” the president said.


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