POSTED: March 8th 2014

Sochi 2014 Paralympics: The Ice Breaker makes a big statement at Paralympics opening

The Ice Breaker ship in the opening of the Sochi 2014 Paralympics / Sochi 2014
The Ice Breaker ship in the opening of the Sochi 2014 Paralympics / Sochi 2014

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Sochi 2014 Paralympics kicked off with a moving and significant Opening Ceremony under the theme of “Breaking The Ice” at the Fisht Stadium in Olympic Park.

The theme of the ceremony highlighted the importance of breaking down barriers and stereotypes faced by people with disabilities around the world every day and by bringing in a huge set fashioned after a Russian ice breaker boat it really drove the point home.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) chief Sir Philip Craven summed this up in his opening speech, "Thirty-four years ago when the old Soviet Union declined the opportunity to stage the 1980 Paralympic Games in Moscow, the prospect of Russia staging its first Paralympic Games was nothing but a dream.

"But dreams do come true, and since winning the Games seven years ago, this part of Russia has undergone a monumental transformation. However, the biggest transformation for this country is still yet to come.

"In the same way that the city of Sochi has built a barrier free environment for athletes and officials to enjoy, I call upon all those who experience these Games to have barrier free minds, too."

The ceremony included a volunteer cast of more than 2,500 people from the Krasnodar region of Russia, and two-time Paralympic champion swimmer Olesya Vladykina and six-time Paralympic champion cross-country skier Sergey Shilov participated by lighting the Paralympic cauldron.

"Thanks to the Paralympic Games, a new era in the history of Russia has begun, one without barriers and stereotypes,” said Dmitriy Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee. “The Paralympic Games have changed us; they have changed our attitude to those close to us and ourselves. Together, we are learning to be more considerate and attentive to each other," he added.

The next host city, PyeongChang 2018, will participate in the Closing Ceremony when they will get the Paralympic Flag in the handover ceremony and officially take the baton for the next edition in four years’ time. PyeongChang House the hospitality venue for the Olympics and Paralympics will

The Sochi 2014 Paralympics will take place between March 7-16 in the same venues of the Olympic Games. 

Keywords · 2014 Paralympics · Sir Philip Craven · Dmitry Chernyshenko

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.