Belarus' best moments at 2018 Winter Paralympics


Belarus' best moments at 2018 Winter Paralympics

The 2018 Paralympics are now over, with Belarus setting its own medal record. Let's review the most important moments of those Games.

Not every country can afford expensive equipment for Paralympic athletes. A wheelchair alone can cost several tens of thousands of dollars. Also tires, special medical equipment and other things. The baggage of such an athlete is several times more than usual. Perhaps, that is why it's Paralympic athletes from developed countries who win the most medals.

In Belarus, the system of physical education and sports for people with disabilities is considered one of the best and the medal results of Pyeongchang confirm this. We are doing a lot to make this social group feel the care of the state and society.

A golden hat-trick of a beautiful blonde from Belarus! Sviatlana Sakhanenka is one of the sensations of Pyeongchang. In the first ski race Sviatlana broke the stick, but even the annoying force majeure did not affect the result. This girl is not one who stops before difficulties! She won three gold medals!

Sviatlana Sakhanenka, three-time Paralympic champion in skiing:
Each medal had its pros and cons. Of course, it was difficult everywhere. Not a single medal comes easy. But I'm infinitely happy with each of my medals.

Sviatlana strived to the Olympic dream from childhood. When in an instant the career of the athlete could break off, the single-minded girl did not give up.

Sviatlana's mother is herself a hero: she raised five children. With a sinking heart, she follows the competitions in which her daughter takes part.

Olga Sakhanenka, Sviatlana Sakhanenka's mother: 
Excitement. This cannot be expressed in words, it must be experienced. She deserves it! Sport is her life.

In addition to three wins in ski races, Sviatlana also has a bronze medal in biathlon. All this time, her guide Roman Yaschenko was alongside on the track. He is the eyes of the athlete. With a poor vision (-12), Sviatlana is guided by Roman's voice. 

SEE: Facts about Belarus' Paralympian Sviatlana Sakhanenka

Yana Shipko, CTV:
This mascot is straight from Pyeongchang! This bear shares the joy of victory with our athletes. It is awarded together with medals. Bandabi is the mascot of the Paralympic Games and the hero of South Korean tales. A symbol of courage and willpower.

The Belarusian national anthem sounded in the Olympic Park four times!

Another debutant of the Paralympic Games is Yury Holub. He brought gold to Belarus in biathlon. He dedicated this victory to his parents. At the same time, he could not keep Olympic calmness.

A native of Glusk, Yury was taught skiing by his father Alexander. Soon, he understood that he could no more keep up with his son's pace. Alexander is a professional musician, and, apart from sports, he instilled in his son love for music. Yury took a guitar even to Pyeongchang. Good ears help him shoot accurately. Visually impaired or blind biathletes aim based on what they hear.

Yury is an example of an athlete who made himself. He did not part with skis from childhood, he studied methods of training himself. He first trained at the public ski track in Vesnyanka neighborhood of Minsk, where both pros and amateurs ski.

The coach noticed the apt skier two years before the Paralympic Games. First trip to Pyeongchang brought Yury a cascade of awards: two silver medals, one gold and one bronze.

MORE: Facts about Belarusian skier Yury Holub

Yury Holub, champion of the Paralympic Games:
We performed very well, the whole team, the emotions are unreal! Four medals in my personal asset. I did not expect such a result, but I went for medals.

This is Raubichi ski complex. It's here Belarusian Paralympic athletes train. They also went to Poland and Italy. Here the team held a training camp before departing to South Korea.

Diana Romanyuk, Deputy Head of the Marketing and Tourism Department of the Republican Center for Olympic Preparation Raubichi:
Athletes regularly trained on the ski track and used targets. Also, athletes used cross routes for training and our gyms.

Captain of Belarus' national team Dzmitry Loban twice won silver. His medals came in the speediest disciplines - ski and biathlon sprints. Fractions of a second decided the fate of this award: the winner was determined only thanks to a photo finish.

Dzmitry's wife Lidziya Hrafeyeva also stepped on the podium. At the Games, this family duo brought Belarus four medals. They admit: together they are power since they support and inspire each other.

Lidziya Hrafeyeva, bronze medalist of the Paralympic Games:
Only when we are close to each other we are strong. We sometimes don't even need to say anything. We have been together for many years, and we can understand each other without words.

Dzmitry Loban, silver medalist of the Paralympic Games:
With the results we spur each other to show even better results.

Lidziya Hrafeyeva:
He inspires me very much. I hope I inspire him too!

The guys have similar destinies. Both survived a tragedy, and it was sport that helped them not to break... And find each other.

Dzmitry Loban's mother:
I watched with my fists clenched, then I just turned off since I could not stand this excitement. I thought my worrying could only make things worse.

The whole country cheered for Belarusian paralympians and they did not disappoint: they promised five medals but won 12! This is the first such success in the history of Winter Paralympic Games for Belarus.

By the way, Belarusian athletes will receive $50,000 for each gold, $30,000 for silver and $20,000 for a bronze medal. Plus presidential scholarships. 49 countries participated in the Paralympic Games in South Korea, and Belarus entered the top 10 (eighth place).

Elena Galkina, participant of the fencing Paralympic team:
Without support, without funding, it is very difficult to achieve something. To achieve, you need to go to competitions. And to go to competitions, you need funding, of course.

In 2005 Elena stood at the origins of the development of fencing in Belarus. Since then, Belarus has won a Rio gold. These girls with a fighting nature tried themselves in skiing before taking the rapier and saber. They certainly know how much a victory at the Paralympic costs.

Kristina Feklistova, participant of the Belarusian Paralympic fencing team:
This is great work, the competition in the world is big, be it winter or summer sports.

Anastasia Kostyuchkova, participant of the Belarusian Paralympic fencing team:
We were overwhelmed with emotions. When you are there, any support is important, especially from your relatives and friends.

10 days of intense competition are now behind. On March 18 the Paralympic fire was extinguished in Pyeongchang. The baton was passed to Beijing.


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