MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he admired the results of national Para athletes at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
President Putin met in the Kremlin with Russian Para athletes, who returned from South Korea on Monday, and congratulated them "with an outstanding performance." "You have demonstrated the high class, the strong will and confirmed our country’s strong position in the group of Paralympic sports’ leaders and have done all of this, to speak in sports terms, being in the minority and in downsized representation, putting up an equal competition to the strongest Paralympic teams," Putin said.
"Russia is proud the way you are keeping up with the main mission of a Paralympian and this mission is to inspire and delight the world," the Russian president said adding that Paralympic athletes "are really inspiring people with their determination, optimism and energy and are giving personal examples showing that the strong will and self-belief can help to overcome all obstacles and circumstances."
Russia will organize an alternative tournament for national athletes barred from participating in the recently concluded 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang and will offer the prize money budget equal to the one in South Korea, Putin said.
"We will do everything possible to support these courageous and honest people so that their talents and determination would continue radiating hope to all of those, who have been trapped in an uneasy life situation," Putin said.
"This year we will organize for Paralympians in Russia a number of special-status tournaments, which will boast the budget of prize money equal to the one provided for medalists at the Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang," Putin said.
A total of 30 Russian Para athletes and six sighted guides, who helped the visually impaired athletes, took part in the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games, hosted by PyeongChang between March 9 and 18.
Russia’s so-called ‘neutral’ team of Para athletes brought home from PyeongChang a total of 24 medals, namely eight gold, 10 silver and six bronze, ranking second in the overall medal count of the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, after the United States.
The Paralympians from the United States won a total of 36 medals (13 gold, 15 silver and eight bronze) to finish in the top of the overall medals standings. The US team at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in PyeongChang consisted of 74 athletes.
The Canadian Paralympic team concluded the top three of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics with the load of 28 medals (eight gold, four silver and 16 bronze).