SOCHI, March 08, /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin said the opening ceremony of the Sochi Paralympics, held on Friday, March 7, was “beautiful and touching.”
He met with the female members of the Russian Paralympic team and volunteers on the occasion of International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8. Putin noted that 3,000 more tickets had been sold for the Paralympics opening ceremony than for the Olympic Games opening ceremony on February 7.
Speaking of sport infrastructure in Sochi, Putin said that its construction “is a prestigious project, but there is more to this than just prestige.” He said the purpose was to create as comfortable conditions for all athletes and guests as possible.
Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko agreed that the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games was “touching and sentimental.”
“It characterised the level of our culture quite well. When you see 500 young ballerinas, it’s very impressive. This indicates that the country has a tremendous potential as it’s not so easy to bring together so many people at once,” he said.
In his opinion, “the opening ceremony was held in the Paralympic spirit and matched the principles that unite people.”
He urged mass media to tell their readers and viewers more about the Sochi Paralympics. “All athletes are very positively minded, optimistic and filled with positive emotions,” he added.
Putin said the Paralympics winners would get the same awards as those at the Olympic Games that ended on February 23. “We will do it in exactly the same manner as we did it for the Olympic medalists,” Putin said.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the automobiles to be awarded to Paralympics winners would be adapted for people with disabilities.