Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Paralympics Can Be Watershed Moment for Russia, Officials Say

The Sochi Paralympics will bring about wide-ranging change to the way Russians see disabled people, International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said Thursday.

Accessibility for disabled people has been a guiding principle of Olympic and Paralympic construction in Sochi, a contrast to the often difficult-to-navigate architecture that confronts many disabled people in Russia.

Even though Russia is a regular at the top of Paralympic medal tables, the Games have received almost no television coverage in the past, something that is set to change with about 180 hours of coverage promised by state channels.

"I truly believe Russia's first Paralympics can have the biggest impact on the host country, helping to transform the lives of 13 million Russians with an impairment," Craven said.

"Just by staging these Games, Russia is sending a clear message to the world that it is willing and wanting to change."

Compared with London, the host of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, Russia is at a "further back starting point" on attitudes toward disabled people, IPC spokesman Craig Spence said Thursday.

But that lays the ground for "monumental change here in Russia" thanks to the Paralympics, he said. "It's the athletes who will make that change."

The Paralympics run from Saturday through March 16.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more