27 September 2015
The official Opening ceremony of the World Games of the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees IWAS took place on Sunday in Sochi.
The executives of the International Paralympic committee (IPC), International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees (IWAS). Russian Paralympic committee, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, Krasnodar Region and the city of Sochi, other officials, award-winning athletes, coaches and referees took part in the festive Opening ceremony at the track and field stadium of the federal training complex of the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation “Yug Sport” (South Sport).
After fanfares, commemorating the beginning of the ceremony, the honorable guests of the competitions Mr. Paul de Pace, IWAS President; Mr.Andrew Parsons IPC Vice-president and the President of the National Paralympic committee of Brazil; Mr. Yuriy Nagornykh, Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, chairman of the IWAS World Games 2015 Organizing committee; Mr. Vladimir Lukin, the President of the Russian Paralympic committee; Ms.Ludmila Chernova, the Minister of the Physical culture and Spot of Krasnodar Region, Olympic champion in Athletics and Mr. Anatoly Pakhomov the Mayor of Sochi were introduced to the sports fans.
The ceremony was followed by the performance of Russian dancers, demonstrated the rhythmic composition under the symbolic name “ Nations friendship”. Afterwards the national flag of Russia was brought into the Arena. The right to take part in this honorable mission was awarded to well-known Russian athletes, the flag was carried by Evegeny Shvetsov and Helena Sviridova, three times Paralympic champions in Athletics; Dmitry Kokarev, three times Paralympic champion in Swimming; Stepanida Artahinova, Paralympic Games bronze medal winner in Archery; Spartak Gazzaev and Vladislav Krichfalushiy, multi-times world championship prize winners in Para-Taekwondo.
The National Anthem of the Russian Federation was played and the Athletes Parade of the IWAS 2015 Games participants started.
Numerous spectators who filled the stadium stands welcomed with friendly applause all the athletes of the national teams of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Venezuela, Vietnam, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, China Peoples Republic, Chinese Taipei, Lithuania, Mongolia, Nepal, United Arab Emirates and other countries. And the solemn Parade was concluded with the most numerous delegation from the Games host country. The national Flag of Russia was carried by Alexei Ashapatov, the Flag bearer of the National Team of Russia at the Beijing and London Paralympic Games, four time Paralympic champion in Athletics.
The solemn speeches to the participants and guests of the World IWAS Games were delivered by the honorable guests of the competitions. The President of the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees, Mr. Paul de Pace expressed his appreciation to all who took much efforts to organization of the World IWAS Games in Sochi. The Head of the IWAS is sure that the competitions to be held in Sochi would be staged at a high level, would be a brilliant and remarkable event in the history of the international Paralympic Movement, would remain for a long time period in the memory of participants and the guests of the Games.
Mr. Andrew Parsons, the IPC Vice-president, the President of the National Paralympic Committee of Brazil thanked the leadership of the Russian Federation, Russian Paralympic, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, Krasnodar Region and the city of Sochi for their tremendous work on Games organization and preparation done. Mr. Parsons expressed his hopeful wishes that these IWAS World Games 2015 would be held in Sochi at the same high level as the XI Paralympic winter Games 2014.
The President of the Russian Paralympic Committee Mr. Valdimir Lukin delivered the Greeting message from the President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin, whereas it is in particular said: “Such ambitious (extensive) events are very important. As soon as the participants of the games not only reach outstanding spots achievements, they also pave the road to others, assist people with impairments to believe in themselves and make a choice to the advantage of the active lifestyle.
The Chairman of the World Games of the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees Organizing committee, Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Mr. Yuriy Nagornykh delivered a welcome word on behalf of Chairman of the Russian Federation Government Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, noted: “A modern barrier-free environment is established in Sochi, nice conditions for training, sport, recreation and communication, that is why, I am sure you will be able to demonstrate here your best qualities: dedication, endurance, ability to fight and win”.
Yuriy Nagornykh continued the festive ceremony, having declared the World IWAS Games 2015 in Sochi open.
The competitions on six sports-Athletics, Swimming, Archery, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Armsport would be held within the 26th of September to the 3rd of October’2015. More than 800 athletes from 35 countries would participate in the competitions.
Afterwards the International Sports Federation of Wheelchairs and Amputees Flag raising ceremony was held. The Flag was carried by Mr. Paul de Pace, the Head of the organization and staging of the World IWAS Games within the Russian Federation territory, Vice-president of the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees IWAS, the Chairman of the Executive committee and the First Vice-President of the Russian Paralympic Committee, Mr. Pavel Rozhkov; the Financial Director of the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees, Mr. Bob Peterson, the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees Executive Board Member Mrs.Dina Sotiriadi, the Head of the Technical Department of IWAS, Mr. Jan Bockweg, the International Sports Federation of the Wheelchairs and Amputees Executive Board Member Rudi Van den Abbele.
At the end of the event the representatives of the Host-country delivered the oaths. Two times Paralympic champion in Swimming, Olesya Vladikina took the oath on behalf of the Athletes. Four times Paralympic Games champion in Cross country and Biathlon, Irek Zaripov took the oath on behalf of the Judges. A merited coach of Russia, senior coach of the National team of Russia in Athletics Oleg Kostyuchenko took the oath on behalf of the Coaches.