Russian sports official hails Beijing Paralympics as best ever

Updated: 2008-09-19 14:43


MOSCOW -- "The Beijing Paralympics is the best of its kind I have ever seen," Pavel Rozhkov, first deputy chairman of the Russian Paralympic Committee, told Xinhua in a telephone interview Wednesday.

"The closing and opening ceremonies of the Paralympics won praise from the whole Russian Paralympic team," said Rozhkov, who just left the scene of the closing ceremony when answering the phone.

"Its rich program and highly aesthetic forms of expression indicate a fairly sophisticated techniques and offered the audience a chance to appreciate the broadness and profoundness of the Chinese culture at close range," he said.

The atmosphere of care and goodwill dominating the opening and closing ceremonies not only conformed with the values of the Olympic Movement, but also helped to enhance the friendship between athletes and peoples from across the globe, the official said.

The organizing job in accommodations, training, transport, and food and drink was flawless at the Paralympics, Rozhkov said. "Wherever we went, we were immersed in an atmosphere of friendship created by the organizers, volunteers and security personnel."

The senior Russian sports official commended the Chinese volunteers, describing them as "earnest, polite, patient and fluent in Russian."

"We cannot imagine what would happen without them. We've become real good friends when we parted with each other," he said.

By hosting the Paralympics, China has proved its capacity in hosting large-scale sports events and solving complicated technological problems, Rozhkov said, adding that the Games has also demonstrated China's outstanding achievements in science and sports medicine.

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As Russia is to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi, Beijing's experience in the construction of sports venues and their accessibility facilities for the disabled will be a big help to Russia, said Rozhkov.

Cooperation between the two countries in this regard will definitely contribute to the promotion of the Olympics spirit, he added.

The Russian team, which had set the target of making the top ten, finished the Paralympics in the eighth place, with 18 gold, 23 silver and 22 bronze medals. Rozhkov attributed the team's good performance partly to the favorable environment created by the host country.

"We will leave China in very good mood. More importantly, the Beijing Paralympics helped us understand China better and learn about its vast numerous cultural heritage and remarkable modern achievements," Rozhkov said.

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