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Official website of the President of Russia

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Conversation with Paralympic athletes

December 3, 2019, Sochi

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the President met with Russian Paralympic athletes and members of the Russian national teams. The meeting was held during a visit to the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Today is the day we talk about people with certain health restrictions. We have said this many times now: when we look at you, clearly, you appear to have no restrictions whatsoever. On the contrary, your possibilities seem endless.

I want to congratulate you, and not only go over your previous successes and victories, but also express hope that you will make yourselves known many times again in the future and show yourselves as promising athletes. Those who have finished their athletic careers and are now studying at universities will be prominent organisers of sports events in various areas and sports, and not just Paralympic sports.

It is critical for us – I will say more about this now – to promote not only the Olympic and Paralympic movement. We need to expand sports for everyone, especially youth, health restrictions or no health restrictions. Everyone should be active.

We have made great strides in this area. The number of active people from all walks of life and strata has increased significantly, but we can do better. The number of active people per 1,000 inhabitants is greater in some neighbouring countries, no matter how odd this may sound, even though sport seems to be everywhere in our country. My point is that we have room for improvement.

First, you can and should set an example for everyone in terms of practicing sports. Second, share your experiences. There is much to be accomplished.

I want to assure you that the state will do its utmost to support you. Thank you very much for your victories.

December 3, 2019, Sochi