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'Best Winter Paralympics Ever' Close in Sochi

Published: March 17, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • The uplifting and colorful ceremony brought down the curtain on the XIth Paralympic Winter Games.
    Photo: Alexei Kudenko / RIA Novosti

International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven declared the Sochi Games closed Sunday in a ceremony celebrating the ambition and ability of disabled people.

The uplifting and colorful ceremony brought down the curtain on the XIth Paralympic Winter Games. Nine days of competition which featured 547 disabled athletes from 45 countries ended as the Paralympic flame was extinguished on its tower in Sochis Olympic Park.

The Paralympic flag passed to the organizers of the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, who staged a brief show featuring traditional dance and calligraphy.

Related: Elegant Ceremony Brings Winter Olympics to a Close in Sochi

Do you sense a greater degree of liberation whether here in Sochi, in wider Russia or throughout the world? Well I do, I can tell you, said Craven, who peppered his closing speech with Russian words. The Paralympic spirit has united and infected us all.

He added: "I thank you all and say with great pleasure, Sochi 2014 - the best Paralympic Winter Games ever."

As at the Olympics a month before, Russia topped the final standings, winning a total of 80 Winter Paralympic medals, more than any country in history.

Related: Errors Aside, Sochi Seen as a Success

The Paralympic Games have become a catalyst for our efforts to create a barrier-free environment in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said. The Games are over, but we promise that this important work will continue throughout our vast country.

Themed around the slogan Reaching the Impossible, the closing ceremony featured a nod to Russian pioneers of abstract art, but was otherwise relentlessly high-tempo, with a hip-hop dance sequence that celebrated the computer game Tetris, designed by Russian Alexei Pazhitnov in the 1980s.

In a rare nod to non-Russian culture at any of the Sochi Olympic or Paralympic ceremonies, Western music including Led Zeppelin and the Mission Impossible theme tune played as the Tetris blocks were raised to reveal the slogan Impossible.

That changed to Im Possible as disabled performer Alexei Chuvashev climbed a rope to insert the crucial apostrophe.

A sequence followed mixing breakdancing, traditional Cossack dance and performances by wheelchair dancers, all dressed in the colors of the Russian flag.

The Sochi Games featured 72 medal events in five sports, the highest number for any Winter Paralympics to date.

Around 325,000 tickets were sold for the Sochi Paralympics, organizers said earlier in the day. That is around 90,000 more than the Winter Games record set by Vancouver in 2010.

The next Paralympics are the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Dec. 20


The citys Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during todays Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Add to your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya Ploshchad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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