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‘We Are Together. Sports’ Paralympic Games may be held on regular basis — sports official

The upcoming tournament is expected to be attended by athletes from Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Armenia and Kazakhstan

KHANTY-MANSIISK, March 17. /TASS/. The upcoming Paralympic Games ‘We Are Together. Sports’ in Russia may be organized in the future on a regular basis, Pavel Rozhkov, the acting president of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), said on Thursday.

"We are pondering the organization of the Games on a regular basis," Rozhkov told journalists. "A matter of their frequency would be decided later. We plan organizing such Games for the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] and SCO [the Shanghai Cooperation Organization] member states. Participation invitations to other countries, including from Europe, are also possible."

"We have grand opportunities for hosting such tournaments and they include the infrastructure, the refereeing staff, the organization and, most importantly, our desire to host them," the RPC high-ranking official stated. "Khanty-Mansiisk is currently the most prepared region and they are willing to host the tournaments."

Rozhkov also said that the city of Khanty-Mansiisk managed to prepare for the Paralympic Games in a very short period of time and its facilities are in compliance with the up-to-date international standards.

"Our Chinese partners were preparing [to host the Paralympics] for seven years, while it took Yugra only seven days," Rozhkov said. "We have inspected all sports facilities and they are in compliance with the international up-to-date standards."

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said last week that Paralympic Games ‘We Are Together. Sports’ in the Russian city of Khanty-Mansiisk would be held between March 18 and 21.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced a decision on March 4 to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus from their participation in the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, which kicked off later that day in China’s Beijing. The 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in the Chinese capital of Beijing were held between March 4 and 13. The IPC cited Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine as a reason for its decision.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Chernyshenko, who oversees issues of sports, culture and tourism in the Russian government, announced on March 5 that he tasked the Russian Sports Ministry and the Finance Ministry to start working jointly with the government of Yugra, located in the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Area, on the organization of the Paralympic Games ‘We Are Together. Sports.’

Sergey Artamonov, the head of the physical culture and sports of Yugra, said last week that up to 70 athletes would take part in six sports competitions - cross-country skiing, biathlon, curling, snowboarding, alpine skiing, sledge ice hockey. The competitions would be held under the Russian state flag and to the tune of the national anthem, the head of the physical culture and sports of Yugra added.

The upcoming tournament is expected to be attended by athletes from Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Armenia and Kazakhstan.