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MOSCOW, March 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The Sochi Paralympics have sold a record of 300,000 tickets, beating the Olympics held in Sochi a bit earlier, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, said on Tuesday quoting Olympics ticket program director Dmitry Perlin.
Addressing a plenary session of the State Duma lower house on Tuesday, Zhukov also noted a surprising atmosphere prevailing at the Paralympics, and said the 2014 Paralympics had attracted additional attention to more than 13 million disabled people in Russia.
“In fact, they have set new standards in city planning and the construction of sports facilities as well as transport infrastructure, not only becoming a locomotive of Paralympic movement development, but also changing the attitude to the disabled in Russia,” said Zhukov, who is also first deputy speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament.
Zhukov said the number of disabled people going in for sports had grown threefold between 2006 and 2011. He also noted success of Russian athletes, who have already won 11 gold medals, giving Russia a strong lead in the medal table.
“We have already got new heroes at these Games,” he said, mentioning in particular Roman Petushkov, who had captured already three gold medals, in cross-country skiing and in biathlon. “Roman was in a car accident in 2006, losing the use of his legs. It was in spring, and already in September he went to a ski school and engaged in skiing,” the parliamentarian said.
“Similar stories, tragic to a great extent, can be told about any Paralympic athlete, but all of them have found an opportunity to realize their potentials,” Zhukov added.
“Paralympic Games prove that such people can extend the horizons of what they can do endlessly if they seek to win,” he added.