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Countdown is on to the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games

Countdown is on to the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games
©Sochi 2014

28/02/2014

With the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games completed, the countdown is now on to the beginning of the Winter Paralympic Games in the Russian resort on 7 March. The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay began on Wednesday 26 February in Cape Dezhnev - the most eastern point of Russia – before visiting Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Yakutsk, Magadan and Anadyr.

The Torch is set to visit 47 destinations on its 10-day journey across the host country, with approximately 15,000 torchbearers taking part before the flame arrives at the official Opening Ceremony in Sochi on 7 March.

The Games themselves will feature Paralympic athletes from more than 40 counties, who will compete in 72 events across five sports. It will be the first time that Russia has hosted the Paralympics and will see the debut of para-snowboarding as a Paralympic event.

The Games are also set to leave a lasting legacy, with Paralympic sport in Russia already enjoying a significant boost, with three times as many people with a disability involved in sport from 2006 to 2011.

Over 1,000 city infrastructure facilities in Sochi have also been newly recognised as fully accessible, with approximately 200 Russian cities also adopting Sochi's best practice example and creating a barrier-free environment that facilitates the adoption of an active lifestyle by people with a disability.

The Games have subsequently set new standards of city planning and construction, given all the sports venues and infrastructure were constructed to meet the requirements of people with a disability.

Sochi was the first city in the Russia to implement a programme to create an accessible environment that is convenient to all residents and guests. Everything that was created in Sochi for the Games, including transport, roads, sports venues and public infrastructure, was constructed taking all accessibility requirements into account.

The barrier-free environment that was created in Sochi for the Games will allow people with a disability to move more freely and independently around the city, use transport, visit attractions, places of work and study, leisure and recreation, as well as practice sports.

The innovative Accessibility Map project has made an invaluable contribution to this process. The Accessibility Map allows people with a disability to find places within walking distance where they can take part in Paralympic sports. The resource also provides information on nearby barrier-free facilities. At present, the Accessibility Map already lists more than 14,700 locations and is growing all the time.

Discover the best photos of Nanjing 2014

  • Lu Shao-Chuan (R) of Chinese Taipei and Viktoriya Sukhorukova of Ukraine after the 10m Air Rifle Mixed

    Nanjing 2014 - Lu Shao-Chuan (R) of Chinese Taipei and Viktoriya Sukhorukova of Ukraine celebrate after the 10m Air Rifle Mixed International Teams Competition at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, August 22, 2014. They won the bronze.

  • Medalists of Men's Trampoline

    Nanjing 2014 - Gold medalist Dylan Schmidt (C) of New Zealand, silver medalist Liu Changxin (L) of People's Republic of China and bronze medalist Pedro Ribeiro Ferreira of Portugal on the podium during the awarding ceremony of men's trampoline gymnastic final event at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Aug. 22, 2014.

  • Istvan Peni (R) of Hungary and Hadir Mekhimar of Egypt in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed

    Nanjing 2014 - Istvan Peni (R) of Hungary and Hadir Mekhimar of Egypt compete during the 10m Air Rifle Mixed International Teams Competition at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, August 22, 2014. They won the gold.

  • Dylan Schmidt of New Zealand in the Men's Trampoline

    Nanjing 2014 - Dylan Schmidt of New Zealand competes during the men's trampoline gymnastic final event at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Aug. 22, 2014. Schmidt won the gold medal.

  • Medalists of the Women's Shoot-out

    "Nanjing 2014 - Lucia Togores Carpintero from Spain wins the gold medal, Micunovic Ela from Slovenia wins the sliver medal and Samuelson Katie Lou wins the bronze medal, Wutaishan Basketball Venue, 21 August 2014. "

  • Bronze medalist Katie Lou Samuelson of the USA in the women's shoot-out

    Nanjing 2014 - Bronze medalist Katie Lou Samuelson of the United States of America competes during women's shoot-out contest final of basketball at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Aug. 21, 2014.

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