Before the award ceremony Vladimir Putin had a brief conversation with President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven. Also attending the meeting were Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee Vladimir Lukin, First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov and Aide to the President Igor Levitin.
Earlier the President sent a message of greetings to the participants, organisers and guests of the 10th award ceremony of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s Return to Life Prize.
* * *
Address at the 10th award ceremony of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s Return to Life Prize.
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends. I am very happy to see you all.
Today the 10th award ceremony of the Russian Paralympic Committee’s Return to Life prize is taking place at the Kremlin Palace. This is a focal event dedicated to celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Russian Paralympic Committee.
I would like to welcome you, to congratulate you on this memorable event and to wish you success and new achievements in promoting the noble ideas of Paralympic sports.
Gathered here today are champions of winter and summer Olympic Games of various years, influential coaches and experts. It is a pleasure to welcome President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven, who is making an enormous contribution to the development of Paralympic sports in the world. I am happy to welcome his colleagues, as well as our friends from national Paralympic committees and sports federations.
Through the efforts of numerous enthusiasts and talented and caring people, the Paralympic movement has made a great leap forward. In this country, it has also reached significant heights. We are proud of Russia’s Paralympic athletes and their outstanding victories.
You demonstrate unity, expertise and an achiever’s spirit, you have shown outstanding results and are today one of the strongest teams in the world. It is athletes like you – energetic and courageous people – who become laureates of the Return to Life Prize.
Among those awarded are also your coaches and mentors who deserve high acclaim. Your example is additional proof of the constructive and inspiring nature of sport and truly limitless human capabilities.
This year Paralympic athletes are in for new trials and demanding competitions. The most important ones are the XV Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which are not that far off. I know that preparations are in full swing. Our athletes have already won the right to compete in 16 out of 22 Paralympic events, but the struggle is not over yet.
We expect more athletes to represent the Russian delegation in Rio than at the previous Paralympic Games in London to make it the most numerous one. Friends, we are looking forward to your exciting, victorious performances, and we will be rooting for you.
Once again, please accept my congratulations on the anniversary of the Russian Paralympic Committee. I would like to wish you all the best and good luck.
Thank you for your attention.