Sochi launches 'Our Champion'

Sport Business News

As part of the first IPC Biathlon and Cross–Country Skiing World Championships held in Russia, Sochi 2014 has announced a regional Programme of public support for athletes participating in the Paralympic Games. The Programme will be known as 'Our Champion'.

The main objective of the initiative is to promote the Russian Paralympic Team and to improve public recognition for athletes with a disability who live in different regions of our country. The Our Champion Programme will enable the residents of different Russian regions to learn more about their fellow–countrymen who have overcome adversity and excelled in reaching the winner's podium at Russian and international sports events. The first athlete to receive the Our Champion title was Aleksey Ashapatov, Paralympic champion and record–breaker at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and a resident of Khanty–Mansiysk Autonomous District. A commemorative certificate was presented to him by Mikhail Terentiev, Paralympic Champion and the general secretary of the Russian Paralympic Committee. As part of the Our Champion Project, Ashapatov met local school pupils from Khanty–Mansiysk. The children were taught about Paralympic sport and the Sochi 2014 volunteers introduced them to the Mascots for the Games. Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 president and CEO, said: " During the preparations for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, we are trying to change the attitude of the Russian public towards people living with a disability. The Our Champion Project is an exciting way for Russian people to learn about the Paralympic athletes in their country who have achieved real feats on the path to sporting victory. I hope that the " Our Champion" Project will evoke a response in the hearts of all Russians, and that the World Championship itself will be very successful. "

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