Russian flag in Paralympic Rio: Western contempt and Russian admiration

According to The Guardian, the goodwill of the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Rio was "punctured" with a demonstration of defiance on the part of Belarusian athletes, who carried a Russian flag to express their protest to the International Paralympic Committee.

The author of the article wrote that Belarus ignored the direct prohibition of the International Paralympic Committee and carried the Russian flag during the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium. 

The IPC, The Guardian said, did not like the appearance of the Russian flag, and the "show of defiance" distracted attention from the spectacular opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

The International Business Times also wrote that the "festive spirit of the Rio 2016 Paralympics opening ceremony was dampened by the Belarus team." "Following some wonderful action, performances and fireworks, the mood was soured a little when the Belarus contingent walked into the Maracana Stadium carrying a Russian flag," The IBT wrote. 

On 7 September, speaking to reporters, Philip Craven, the head of the IPC, said that the  committee was strongly determined to exclude Russian Paralympic athletes from the Rio Games, and the IOC supported the verdict unanimously. 

Russia launched its own, All-Russian Paralympic Games in the Moscow region on September 7. "The Russian team is one of the strongest teams in the world, and I am confident that you will demonstrate your skills, persistence, dedication and determination to victory," President Putin said in his written address to the athletes. 

On the first day of the All-Russian Paralympics, our athletes have set four world records. Swimmers Anna Krivshina Sergei Sukharev, Andrei Granichka and Roman Zhdanov have shown outstanding results. 

The Alternative Paralympic Games for Russian athletes takes place on training bases near Moscow.

Three-time Paralympic champion in athletics Margarita Goncharova set a personal record as she completed the 400 meter-race in T38 category in 1 minute 0.44 seconds. Other winners at this distance were Arina Baranova (T13, 58.45 seconds), Yevgenia Trushnikova (T37, 1.03,74) and Anastasia Solovieva (T47, 59.98).

Four-time Paralympic champion in athletics Alex Ashapatov showed the best result in the shot put in F57 category - 13.47 meters. 

Svetlana Krivenok (F33) has updated the world record in this sport with 7.51 meters.

Unfortunately, there was little time to arrange alternative Paralympics properly, and the competitions are held on training bases, rather than sports arenas. The athletes compete in seven sports; in 11 other disciplines, the athletes aspire to results of world championships. For many excluded athletes, the Paralympic Games in Rio were supposed to become their first major sports event. Those people were deprived of their lifetime dream, but no one has given way to despair. 

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has decided to revoke the accreditation from the member of the Belarusian delegation, who carried the Russian flag at the opening of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Noteworthy, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee Vladimir Lukin, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko and President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov expressed their support and gratitude to the Belarusian official, who had the courage to appear on the stadium in Rio carrying a Russian flag.  

Earlier, the head of the Paralympic Committee of Belarus, Oleg Shepel, said that Belarusian athletes were ready to carry the Russian flag at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in solidarity with Russian colleagues.

On August 7, the International Paralympic Committee disqualified the Russian Paralympic Committee, having excluded all Russian athletes from international competitions.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov