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“One of the every important factors is the creation of the volunteerism as a culture, which did not exist in our country before,” Chernyshenko said addressing journalists in English language.
“And now Russia, in several years, became the world’s leader in terms of volunteerism,” he said on the brink of the Paralympics closing ceremony on Sunday night.
Addressing a news conference earlier in the month, President of the International Paralympic Committee Philip Craven, said that the “Paralympics in Sochi have the potential of huge impact on the hosting country in many terms, including in the sphere of the barrier-free environment.”
“Back in 1980, the Paralympic Games were not held in Moscow because the old USSR government said they had no people with an impairment in their country,” Craven said. “So, to be here in Sochi 34 years later for Russia’s first Paralympic Games is a huge achievement in itself and proof that things are changing here for the better.”
Over 8,000 volunteers are serving Russia’s first ever Paralympic Games, according to Sochi 2014 Vice-President Workforce Marina Pochinok.
The team of volunteers is young and energetic with an average age of 25. Many of them have received dedicated training on best practice to support Paralympic athletes and have proven an important part of the Games.
The planning for the Games has created conditions to ensure that the volunteers enjoy a comfortable stay in Sochi.
For the first time in Paralympics history they are provided with accommodation and three meals a day.
According to the 2013 World Giving Index (WGI), Russia was ranked in the 8th place in the top ten countries in terms of the highest number of people volunteering.