Voices from Russia

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Russian Paralympians Getting Ready for Rio Paralympics in 2016

______________________________

Russian athletes are starting to prepare for the next Paralympics. Two-time Paralympic champion Olesya Vladykina and four-time Paralympic champion Sergei Punko are dreaming to leave for Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The gold medal winners at the London Games shared their plans for the next four years. They didn’t rest after their triumphal performances in London, but they’re starting preparations for the next Games. If they want to stay on Team Russia, they’ll have to go through four years of persistent training and compete at international competitions. Only the strongest will make the team. Two-time Paralympic swimming champion Olesya Vladykina believes that, despite her having won gold, silver, and bronze medals, she’ll have to compete with young, but potentially strong, swimmers if she wants to be on Team Russia once again. She said, “They’ll make no concessions. If I make this mad choice, it’ll be my third Paralympics. I’ll take part only in the standard events. I’d like to go to Rio de Janeiro, as it’s a very beautiful city. I’ve already been there. The selection of athletes has become tougher. The main task of the experienced and the young sportsmen is to make the national team. We’re competing for a place on the team at the same level”.

The athletes are expecting no concessions for them at the selection. This is real sport and only the strongest win. Russian athletes hope to push the Chinese sportsmen off the podium. Sergei Punko, who won a full set of medals in London in different swimming events, said, “Practically every Russian athlete who won gold set a world record. We’ll hardly be able to top this year’s list in the quantity of medals, but we can up the quality. There’s a need to do a lot of work and promote Paralympic sports throughout the country. If we can do this, we’ll win more medals”.

Victory isn’t the main thing for Paralympic athletes. In every event, they showed the world that they have unlimited capabilities. As compared to the past, the attitude towards them has significantly improved. This is the main victory. At present, some of the Paralympians are taking part in ad campaigns. Olesya Vladykina, who lost an arm in an auto accident, said, “Before the London Games, I was asked if I’d be photographed for glamour magazines, a project which wasn’t accessible to Paralympic sportsmen in the past. People receive us, understand us, and are ready to see us, and we’re respected and admired. This is great. Paralympic sportsmen have many things to teach people and make them think. I’d like to see that people don’t turn away from us”.

People don’t turn away from them, of course. At the London Games, practically all the events were full of fans. Thousands of people came to support the athletes. The Paralympians said that they’d never seen such an attitude. Such an active support shocked the athletes in the beginning, but later, it helped them to win medals.

13 September 2012

Aleksandra Zakharova

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_13/Russian-athletes-start-preparing-for-the-Rio-de-Janeiro-Paralympics/

Editor’s Note:

I’ve ENJOYED covering the Paralympics… these people are great athletes. They’re not “Special Olympians”… they’re not “disabled athletes” (although they ARE disabled)… they’re athletes whose performance is well above the median. I’d challenge any of my readers to bench-press as much as Vlad Balunets does, toss the shot-put as far as Aleksei Ashapatov does, or to outswim Olesya Vladykina. Trust me… the people named are top-flight athletes, period. That’s why the Russian state pays them the same bonus as they do for Olympians winning the same medal; that’s why Paralympians are part of the Unified Sport Classification System (both Aleksei Ashapatov and Olesya Vladykina are Honoured Masters of Sport).

If the USA doesn’t get serious, trust me, the Big Red Chinese machine and the Team Russia steamroller will crush them in Rio. China and Russia are serious about supporting their Paralympians. What does that tell you about the USA? As I said in an earlier post, “This ain’t no sorry-ass Special Olympics”. If the US government doesn’t get off its arse and put some real money behind American Paralympians, well, next time, expect an even-lower showing than this year’s sixth place.

BMD

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

12 September 2012. VOR Presents… President Putin Honoured the “Golden” Paralympians

The Team Russia Paralympians returned to the motherland on the evening of 10 September. Friends, family, and fans met the athletes at Sheremetyevo International Airport. In the image above, Vladimir Lukin (centre), the President of the Russian Paralympic Committee, spoke at short ceremony welcoming our sportsmen home.

******

Team Russia took second place in the unofficial national standings at the Paralympics in London as its members won 102 medals, 36 gold, 38 silver, and 28 bronze. In the image above, we see cyclist Svetlana Moshkovich at the welcoming ceremony for the Team Russia Paralympians at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

******

42 Team Russia sportsmen won medals at the games. In the image above, we see three-time track champion Yelena Ivanova (right) at the welcoming ceremony at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

******

Runner Aleksei Labzin, who won two gold and one silver, at the welcoming ceremony at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

******

Three-time gold-winning Paralympic champion runner Yevgeni Shvetsov (centre) at the welcoming ceremony at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

******

Paralympic champion swimmer Honoured Master of Sport Olesya Vladykina (right) at the welcoming ceremony at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

******

Three-time Paralympic gold- and silver-medallist in track Margarita Goncharova (left) at the welcoming ceremony at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

******

On Tuesday, 11 September, at the Aleksandrovsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, President Vladimir Putin presented state awards to honour Russian Paralympians who won gold medals at the Games in London. Honoured Master of Sport and Order of Honour holder Aleksei Ashapatov holds the Russian flag. The Paralympians received the same financial rewards from the state for medals as the Olympians did.

******

In summing up the performance of our Russian athletes in London, President Putin said, “They demonstrated the utmost panache. It was, indeed, a great success, a veritable achievement”.

******

President Putin with Honoured Master of Sport Aleksei Ashapatov, Paralympic Champion and holder of the Order of Honour.

******

President Putin awarded the Order of Honour to five athletes (Aleksei Ashapatov already holds it for his efforts at the Beijing Paralympics), and he gave another 37 athletes the Order of Friendship. Here, the President talks with Order of Honour recipient Yelena Pautova.

******

Members of the Team Russia Paralympic football squad presented President Putin with his own futbolka (football shirt).

______________________________

11 September 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

RT TV

http://rus.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/87887881/87888764/

http://rt.com/sport/putin-russia-paralympics-london-860/

President Putin Awarded Paralympians for Their Achievements

______________________________

On Tuesday, President Putin decorated 42 Paralympians with state awards for winning gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The ceremony took place at the Alexandrovsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Olesya Vladykina, Aleksei Labzin, Konstantin Lysenkov, Aleksandr Nevolin-Svetov, and Yelena Pautova received the Order of Honour (Aleksei Ashapatov already has this decoration for his efforts at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing). 37 Paralympians, including swimmer Oksana Savchenko, who won five gold medals and set four world records, were decorated with the Order of Friendship. Russia scored second in the unofficial medal count, losing only to China. Russia was second at the Paralympic Games in London, having won 102 medals, including 36 gold, 38 silver, and 28 bronze. Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev congratulated our Russian Paralympians on their successful performance at the London Games. This is the highest achievement of Team Russia in the entire history of their participation in the Paralympics. Prime Minister Medvedev said that this outcome was stunning evidence of our Russian sportsmen’s courage, toughness, and will.

11 September 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_11/Putin-awards-Paralympians/

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

11 September 2012. VOR Presents… The 2012 London Paralympics Ended in Fireworks amidst a Riot of Colours

A colourful and spectacular fireworks show ended the 14th Paralympic Games in London. The hosts of the 2012 event handed the baton to Rio de Janeiro. The 2012 London Paralympics took place from 29 August to 9 September. 502 sets of medals were in contention; in competing for them, the athletes broke 251 world records. Team Russia came second in the unofficial national team medals standing. Russian athletes won 102 gongs (36 gold, 38 silver, and 28 bronze), only beaten by the Chinese team.

******

Thirteen officers of the British forces lowered the Union Flag. Then, dozens of cars erupted into the arena, including five large trucks decked out as a fish, the seasons, a grasshopper, and a locomotive.

******

The closing ceremony of the Games burst out into a riot of light and colour, accompanied by music from the famous British rock band Coldplay, Barbadian singer Rhianna (pictured), and American rapper Jay-Z.

******

 A scene from the closing ceremony of the 14th Paralympic Games in London.

******

A scene from the closing ceremony of the 14th Paralympic Games in London.

******

After the colourful closing ceremony, there was a formal transfer of the banner of the Paralympic Games to the next host city. Three British servicemen handed over the flag to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (left), who, then, presented it to the president of the International Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven, who, in turn, handed it to the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes (right). Brazil will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016.

******

The ceremony ended with a large Brazilian presentation, based on a “dance battle”. The performers “competed” in the capoeira and samba, as well as a break-dance, which involved dancers with disabilities.

******

A scene from the closing ceremony of the 14th Paralympic Games in London.

******

A scene from the closing ceremony of the 14th Paralympic Games in London.

******

A scene from the closing ceremony of the 14th Paralympic Games in London.

______________________________

10 September 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/87738747/87738758/

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.