President Victor Yushchenko, Paralympic Committee President Valeriy Sushkevych and Youth and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko took part in a send-off ceremony for Ukraine’s Paralympic team, which will represent our country at the Ninth Paralympic Games in the Italian city of Turin.

Addressing the athletes, the Head of State said: “Dozens, hundreds, millions of people, both healthy and disabled, need your examples of self-affirmation. You are heroes because your will is strong and you demonstrate it, and I respect you for that.”

Yushchenko said he was surprised to learn biographiesof some athletes of the team: “Your merits show you are extraordinary people.”

He reiterated that many Ukrainians won sports competitions.

“We are looking forward to your victories and medals,” he said.

The President remarked that Ukrainian government still owed the people with particular needs much and pledged to spare no effort to improve the situation.

“You are equal to other people. You are self-sufficient and you should not feel any social, humanitarian or physical discomfort,” Yushchenko said and added that the state would equally appreciate achievements of all its athletes. “You will receive what Olympic winners will receive.”
He is convinced the government should build training facilities for people with particular needs.

“We must do many things if we want to seriously speak about sports, physical culture and health of the nation,” he opined.

Soldiers of the Honor Guard gave Yushchenko a Ukrainian flag and hepresented it to Serhiy Khyzhnyuk, flag-bearer of the National Paralympic Team. Then Volodymyr Hryshko performed the national anthem.


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