Russia opens its own Paralympic Games
Thursday, 08 September 2016
© Vladimir Fedorenko

 

An alternative competition among Paralympians has kicked off in Moscow after the entire Russian Paralympics team was banned from participating in Rio 2016 Paralympics by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). 

 

The opening ceremony of the nationwide open competition was held in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on Wednesday, Interfax news agency reported. During a picturesque ceremony, all Russian athletes who were prohibited from taking part in the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro paraded through the concert hall, the same way as at the opening ceremonies for the global Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

 

The audience welcomed the athletes with a standing ovation.

Wrestlers were the first to enter the concert hall and take their seats in the first row, then came the soccer players and members of the national shooting team, archers, handball and volleyball teams, rowing and canoeing teams, horseraces, triathlon and fencing teams, cyclists, tennis players, power lifters, swimmers and track-and-field athletes.


The athletes’ parade was followed by a concert.

The competition will last until September 10. Some 263 athletes will be taking part in the alternative Games. Participants will compete in seven sport disciplines, and workshops will be held for the remaining 11 sports. Events are scheduled to be held in “Novogorsk” training center, as well as the “Ozero Krugloye” and “Krylatskoe” sports centers.

 

The winners of the competition will receive the same prizes and awards they would have gotten for their successes at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

The suspension of the Russian Paralympic team has been met with harsh criticism from athletes, sport lovers and others worldwide, with critics branding it an utterly hostile and political decision.

Russia’s Paralympians took second place in the unofficial medal table at the London Games in 2012.

 




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