Today, before the Russian Paralympic Committee Governing Board meeting at the RPC Headquarters, an expanded meeting of the Athletes Commission chaired by the 13-times Paralympic Champion ( Athletics, visual impairments) and the RPC Vice President Rima Batalova took place.
At the beginning of the meeting, the President of the RPC, Vladimir Lukin, welcomed the participants.
Beside the Commission members, the champions and medalists of the Paralympic Games, World and Europe Championships participated.
Representatives of Summer and Winter Pralympic Sports stated their position on the participation of Russian athletes in the XII Paralympic Winter Games 2018 in Peyonchang (South Korea).
At the same time, the Athletes Commisssion encourages the public to be respectful of all athletes who will participate in the upcoming Paralympic games.
THE POSION OF PARA-ATHLETES ON PARTICIPATE IN PYEONGCHANG 2018 PARALYMPIC GAMES AS NEUTRAL ATHLETES
What is sport to us, the para-athletes? It’s not just a job, it’s our life, our personal universe, where all wins, losses, emotions, tears, laughter merge into one, and that gives us the desire every day to develop and fight for new achievements, new successes!
The most important event of this life - the Paralympic Games. The feeling that you experience, when hardly reaching you victory in final sot, and then stand with the gold medal of the Games on the podium – it is impossible to compare with anything. Therefore, there is no athlete who would not dream about it!
But every athlete at this moment represents not just themselves but also the efforts of the coach who has put in all his energy, and those people who helped him achieve their goals, and most importantly – theirs entire country, the entire family and all the fans that cared for them, and this is a special mission.
In the current situation, we, the Russian Paralympic Athletes are faced with the choice that not only any athlete, but also any citizen, any person who passionately loves and appreciates his Home-country, do not want to be.
We strive to participate at the Paralympics, but at the same time, the Russian Para-athletes deprived of symbols that makes us citizens of our great country, the country for which we fought on the sport arenas of the world, country where we were born and raised.
We are convinced that collective punishment in unacceptable, will not bear a fair promise and deprive clean athletes of their inalienable right to participate in the Paralympic Games under the flag of their own country. At the same time, we sincerely appreciate the idea of the Paralympic Sport, and most importantly, share sports value, that carries the sport and believe that a boycott of the Games – completely lost position, and no athlete tolerates defeat.
Our official position is absolutely clean and unwavering – we are ready to participate in the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Games, despite the ban on the symbol of the country, which we represent.
However, we want to note this separately, despite our neutral status, our opponents in Pyeongchang 2018 will know which country we represent, which country we dedicate the victory, which country’s flag of the country flutters in our hearts, and anthem of which country we are going to actually hear standing on the podium.
We hope that the International Paralympic Committee will fairly and impartially appraise invitations to the Russian Paralympians at the Games.
We, the undersigned, have never used doping, we are only for a fair fight, a real sport and we are determined to support glorious tradition of Paralympic sport in Russia at the Paralympics 2018 in Pyeongchang.
We play by rules and therefore are ready to win!
Position on behalf of the Russian Para-Athletes nominated members of Commission of the RPC athletes: Rima Batalova among persons with Physical Impairments, six times Paralympic Campion in Nordic skiing and Biathlon Sergey Shilov, five times Paralympic champion in Swimming among blind athletes Andrey Strokin and three times Paralympic champion in Athletics Olga Semenova, two times Paralympic champion and two times solver and bronze medals winner Alexey Bugaev, Paralympic Champion in in Nordic skiing and Biathlon for Persons with Physical Impairments Mikhail Terentiev, Paralympic silver medal winner in curling on wheelchairs Alexander Shevchenko, 2-times silver and bronze medalist of Paralympic Games Andrey Lozhechnikov, 2-times silver and bronze medalist of Paralympic Games Dmitriy Grigoriev, silver medalist of Paralympic Games Alexander Shevchenko, bronze medalist of Paralympic Games Irina Kaliyanova, World Champion Alexander Pickalov, World Champion Constantin Kurohtin, Europe Champions Maria Pavlova, Denis Egorov, Nikita Egorov, Evgeniy Shelaev, Alexey Locktionov, Sergey Manzhov, members of the national team of Russia on cross-country and biathlon between persons with physical impairment Rustam Aminov and Alexander Ganzey.
Press-service of the Russian Paralympic Committee