The Russian athletes will perform in competitions in track-and-field athletics, shooting, swimming and other events. Experts says that in most of them Russia can count on gold medals.
Almost 200 athletes will represent Russia at the Paralympics in London where almost 500 medals in 20 events will be played. We hear from Pavel Rozhkov, the mission chief of the Russian national teams at the Paralympics.
"We hope that our athletes will show good results in all events in which they are to take part. We are going to participate in 12 out of 20 competitions."
Russia’s paralympic swimmer Olesya Vladykina is seen as one of the favorites at the coming competition in London. She is a real beauty, looks like a model and at first sight nothing reveals that she is a disabled person. She began to train as a swimmer in her childhood. Olesya lost her arm in a road accident but despite the tragedy she did not give in, continued training and became a champion at the Paralympics in Beijing. In London Olesya is determined to take another gold medal. Here is a comment from Alexander Lysenko, Chairman of the advisory board of the National Center on disability issues.
"In Beijing, many of our paralympic athletes won gold medals, for example Olesya Vladykina, who won gold in the breaststroke swim. I think in the coming competitions she can win gold in other swimming styles. The guys who are going to the Paralympics show us that the most important thing is the victory of spirit over body. People should know how they win and how much effort they put into it and be inspired by their example. I wish victories to our paralympic athletes."
At the Paralympics in Beijing the Russian team ranked 8th in the total medal count. This is a very good result considering that the Russian authorities only recently began to provide intensive support to disabled people, Lysenko says.
"Other countries, which have more comfortable conditions for disabled people, understand that Russia has only recently taken this path and only this year we have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Also now a specialgovernmental program has been launched. The victories of our paralympic athletes give impetus to this process, which was proved by the Paralympics in Beijing. I would like to express our gratitude to Russia’s envoy on human rights and head of the Paralympics Committee of Russia Vladimir Lukin. It was thanks to our mutual efforts that Paralympic victories were made equal to Olympic victories."
Thanks to the governmental support the paralympic athletes will go to London accompanied by their personal coaches. There are all conditions to show better results and the athletes are determined to win.
President Vladimir Putin is to attend the farewell ceremony for the Russian Paralympic team on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. The athletes and members of the delegation will fly to the UK on Wednesday August 22.