The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin presented state awards of the Russian Federation to Champions and medalists of the XII Paralympic Winter Games 2018 in Pyeonchang (Republic of Korea).
Vladimir Putin congratulated the athletes on winning medals at the Games:
“Good afternoon, dear friends!
First of all, I want to sincerely congratulate you and all our athletes on the excellent performance at the XII Winter Paralympic Games.
You showed the highest class, power of will, confirmed our country’s confident position in the group of leaders of the world Paralympic Sports. And you did it, speaking in sports language, being in a minority -not in full composition, on equal terms competed with the strongest Paralympic teams.
I must say that the whole Russia is proud of how worthy you are carrying the main mission of the Paralympics – “to inspire and delight the world”. You really charge people with you purposefulness, optimist, energy; by personal example you prove that the strength of the spirit and belief in yourself are able to overcome any difficulties and any circumstances, that there are no obstacles to the desire to act, to be useful to your family, society, your Homeland.
Today, when the World sports, including Paralympic sport, are going through not the easiest time, your unique character, the ability to keep the blow and the victorious mood with which you walk through the life, revealed with special force. The past Games has become anniversaries for our country, which has participated in Paralympics for 30 years, since 1988, and, perhaps, are the most difficult. However, you have not been broken either by hard emotional pressure or by the prohibition of national symbols. You concentrated, took everything you wanted, everything you could, and took by not by the number, but by skill.
What is worth the singe performance of our girls in mixed and open relay races, where they fought on equal basis with the national teams, which included both women and men. However, every start of our Paralympics was a test of strength. And the more valuable the medals you won. Here I will note the debut on the Games of Ekaterina Rumyantseva, who took three hold and two silver medals; brilliant starts of Mikhalina Lysova, and her leader Alexei Ivanov; indomitable will to win of Anna Milenina and Alexey Bugaev.
I would like to emphasize that all participants of the Games deserve admiration and gratitude. Nevertheless, the special words I want address to those, who helped Paralympic athletes to go through the long and arduous path of success: remarkable coaches, doctors, methodists, designers of special equipment, assistants and athlete-leaders, who literally led the athletes to victory.
I am sure it is very difficult for you to accept that not all of your wards were able to take part in the Games. However, you know that the whole country is really endures for them. In addition, we will do our best to support these courageous, honest people, so that their talents and perseverance continue to give hope to all who find themselves in a difficult situation, including holding a number of competitions with special status for Paralympians this year. Moreover, of course, the prizes for winning these competitions will be comparable with the medalists of the Paralympic Winter Games 2018 in Pyeonchang.
Of course, we will continue to defend the Sport Honor of Russia and all our athletes, to stand for sport without politics and double standards, and to prove our country’s loyalty to the ideals of sports, which are based on high humanistic values and the principle of equal opportunities.
In particular, the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has successfully helped our team in Korea, should systematically intensify the Work of the Russian Federation Commission for UNESCO in order to improve the international Convention against doping in sports and to ensure that the rules are fair and fully transparent.
Once again congratulations to all the Paralympic athletes and their coaches with outstanding success at the Games in Korea and thank for your great contribution to development of domestic sports, because by your example you show to society, to the world that a real proactive attitude, dignity, love for Homeland is the primary basis of all our lives.
Health to you, spiritual forces and, of course, new bright victories!
I congratulate you with your success.”
Athletes, granted awards, also said few words:
3-times champion, 2-times silver medalist of the Paralympic Games 2018 Ekaterina Rumyantseva:
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!
First of all, we would like to congratulate you on you victory in the presidential election.
On behalf of the Russian Paralympic team, I would like to thank you for supporting the national Paralympic sport. Thanks to this supports, we were able to participate in the Paralympic Games and show everyone that our country was worthy and we are the leaders of the Paralympic sport.
It was a special honor for us to defend our country at the Paralympic Games, even under a neutral status. For me personally, the main thing was to do not pay attention to this prohibition. Moreover, as a citizen of my country, I know my flag, emblem, and we prove to everyone that we are stronger.
Thank you for the congratulatory telegrams, they helped to strengthen our fighting spirit. Thanks to you attention, we wanted to win, we sought it with your supports, thank you.
I also want to thank the coaches Irina Gromova, Andrei Gladyshes and everyone who helped us to follow such a difficult path.
Thank you very much.
2-times champion, 3-times silver and bronze medalist of the Paralympic Games 2018 Mikhalina Lysova:
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!
It is a great honor for us to be here today at this solemn event. This is a great incentive for further performances in our hard sport work.
At the most important four-year starts, we tried to show everyone, to prove to everyone that we are “clean” athletes, which are for the fair sport. We acted under the neutral status and won our wards, brought them here, to Homeland. These awards are for our country, for all of us.
Thank you very much for your support. Many thanks to the Paralympic Committee for organizing the Paralympic Games for us and supporting us.
Champion and silver medalist of the XII Paralympic Games Alexey Bugaev:
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your victory in the presidential election and wish you the same wise and successful governance in the future.
On behalf of our entire sport delegation, I would like to thank you for this solemn reception. This is really a great celebration for us. We would also like to express our gratitude to the state and personally to the President for your active support of the Paralympic movement in our country.
WE also want to thank you for the fact that during the difficult period for all Russian sports the state did not turn away from us and helped to realize the dream – to perform at the Paralympics in Korea.
I would also like to thank the Russian Paralympic Committee, the Ministry of Sports, our coaches and staff, our team headed by Alexander Nazarov for their hard and painstaking work.
We promise that we will continue to train hard and perform in the same spirit, despite all the difficulties, it will only unite us. We won, we win and we will win.
Silver and 2-times bronze medalist of the 2018 Paralympic Games Marta Zainullina:
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!
First of all, I would like to thank you for believing in us, supporting us and giving us very good guidance before the Paralympic Games. And, we hope, we proved that we cannot be broken.
Behind our victories stand many people: our families, friends, fans, and the most important – our coaches, service-crew and doctors. They took away our national anthem and flag, but we were able to carry them in our hearts. With our victories and our performances, we have once again demonstrated that we are a strong power.
The meeting was attended by Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Igor Levitin, the Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, Olympic Champion Pavel Kolobkov, the President of the Russian Paralympic Committee Vladimir Lukin, Chairman of the RPC Governing Board, RPC First Vice-President, head of the headquarter for the participation of Russian athletes and staff in the XII Paralympic Winter Games 2018 Pavel Rozhkov, General Secretary of the Russian Paralympic Committee Andrey Strokin, Vice-President of the Russian Paralympic Committee, President of Blind Sports Federation Lidiya Abramova, member of the RPC Governing Board, President of the Russian Federation of Sport of Persons with Physical Impairment Lev Seleznev, member of the RPC Governing Board, senior coach of the Russian national team on cross-country skiing and biathlon sports of persons with physical impairment Irina Gromova, the senior coach of the Russian national team on cross-country skiing and biathlon sports of persons with visual impairment Alexey Kopytin, senior coach of the Russian national team in biathlon sports of persons with physical impairment Andrey Gladyshev, senior coach of the Russian national team on Alpine skiing of persons with physical impairment Alexander Nazarov
Medals of Honor were awarded to:
Ekaterina Rumyantseva (Moscow) – 3-times champion and 2-times silver medalist of Paralympic Games in cross-country skiing and biathlon sport of persons with physical impairment.
Mikhalina Lysova (Sverdlovsk region) – 2-times champion, 30times silver and bronze medalist of Paralympic Games in cross-country skiing and biathlon sport of persons with visual impairment.
Anna Milenina (Sverdlovsk region) – 2-times champion and 3-times silver medalist of Paralympic Games in cross-country skiing and biathlon sport of persons with physical impairment.
Alexey Bugaev (Moscow, Krasnoyarsk region) – champion and silver medalist of the Paralympic Games in Alpine skiing sport of persons with physical impairment.
The medals of the order “For merits before Fatherland” 1st degree were awarded to:
Marta Zainullina (Republic of Tatarstan) – silver and 2-times bronze medalists of Paralympic Games in cross-country skiing and biathlon sport of persons with physical impairment;
Valery Redkozubov (Moscow region, Krasnoyarsk Region) – 2-times bronze medalist of Paralympic Games in Alpine skiing sport of persons with visual impairment.
The medal of the order “For merits before Fatherland” 2nd degree was awarded to Irina Gulyaeva (Moscow) – the bronze medal winner of the Paralympic Games in biathlon sport of persons with physical impairment.
The press service of the Russian Paralympic Committee.