Mr Putin’s telegram reads, in particular:
“I send my greetings to the participants in the official ceremony marking the symbolic handover of the relay from the team from the IX Winter Paralympics in Turin to the Paralympics team that will compete in the XIII summer Paralympics in Beijing.
Our athletes gave an outstanding performance in Italy, taking first place in the overall team medal tally. They showed true sportsmanship and desire for victory in an intense and dramatic competition.
I am sure that the participants in the 2008 Paralympics will carry on and build on this wonderful tradition.
I wish you good results, health, and all the very best”.