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Putin hopes Sochi Paralympics will have huge television audience

March 06, 2014, 2:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 06, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped billions of people would watch television broadcasts from the Paralympic Games in Russia’s Sochi.

“In general, Paralympic sport and Paralympic athletes are drawing more and more attention,” he said in an interview with Russian and foreign mass media. “Athletes themselves, their tremendous achievements have done much in terms of the popularization of the Paralympic movement. We have no doubts that people would watch the Sochi Winter Paralympics.”

He promised excessive coverage of the Sochi Paralympics.

The television audience of the London Games in 2012 exceeded 3.5 million people, he reminded. “We want to achieve such results not merely for the sake of pure statistics. Paralympic competitions can exert the most powerful positive influence on society, on people’s mentality. Courageous Paralympic athletes can virtually energize people, demonstrating them what determination, victorious spirit and proactive attitudes to life mean,” the president stressed.

“The mere emergence of Paralympic Games dramatically changed attitudes towards people with disabilities,” Putin noted. “Such Games have burst stereotypes and continue to demonstrate that the real strength of a human being is in his character capable of overcoming any difficulties and standing any trials.”

“I am confidents that the popularity of Paralympic Games and interest to them will only grow. And it is very important. The example of Paralympic athletes, their courage and dignity is inspiring, it gives hope and changes life for the better. The enormous humanistic potential of the Paralympic movement is essential in moral education of society, the youth, in advocating principles of equal possibilities, in creating conditions for the realization of personal, creative and professional potential, for comfortable and decent life of all people,” Putin said.

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