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Russia to stage its own Winter Paralympics

Russian athletes returning home to a heroes welcome after being banned from Beijing winter Paralympics
Russian athletes returning home to a heroes welcome after being banned from Beijing winter Paralympics Image credit: inews.co.uk

Russia has announced it will be holding their own Paralympics after being banned from the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics.

The International Paralympic Committee initially said Russia and Belarus could compete in the games, but were forced to reverse their decision after receiving a backlash from other countries following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is now planning their own Paralympic events which are likely to take place in Khanty-Mansiysk or Sochi.

‘We have everything necessary to organise fair and bright competitions for Paralympic athletes in all sports presented in the programme of the Games in Beijing,’ Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said.

The PM, who was speaking on Russian state-run news agency TASS, continued: ‘Sports results will be recorded at the tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk, records will be celebrated, and medals to winners and prize-winners.

‘Athletes should not be deprived of the sports festival for which they have been preparing for several years.

‘It is also necessary to maintain the amount of remuneration for winners and prize-winners, as planned at the end of the Games in Beijing – RUB 4 million (£31,000) for a gold medal, RUB 2.5 million (£19,000) for silver and RUB 1.7 million (£13,000) for bronze, as well as payments to coaches and specialists, it is important that the competition will be held with the Russian flag and anthem and in an atmosphere of full support.’

Sports Minister of Russia Oleg Matytsin said banning Russia and Belarus from the Beijing Winter Paralympics was ‘absolutely unfair’.

‘It was fundamentally important for us to organise these competitions for our Paralympic athletes, with regard to the Russian Paralympic team, an absolutely unfair decision was made to remove them from the Paralympic Games,’ Matytsin said, as reported by TASS.

‘Russian athletes have been preparing and training for a long time, overcoming all obstacles on the way to their dream and now they will be able to demonstrate to the whole world, in what excellent shape they are and what high results they achieve in a fair fight, we believe that sport should always be a symbol of friendship and unity.

‘I am sure that the competitions in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug will be held at the highest level.’

The Russian Paralympic event is scheduled to take place mid-March.