Medvedev salutes Paralympic heroes

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has given state awards to the country's Paralympic heroes after last month’s triumphant performance in Vancouver.

A special ceremony was held at the Kremlin in recognition of the team topping the overall standings at the winter games with 38 medals (12 gold, 16 bronze and 10 silver).

Russian athletes were also second in the gold medal count, finishing just one behind Germany.

According to the previously published Presidential decree, the winners of the 2010 Games were awarded with orders and medals, including the Order of Merit of the fourth degree given to four-time champion Irek Zaripov.

“The Vancouver Olympics left contradictory emotions. Here [at the Paralympics] the emotions were all absolutely identical. All the Paralympians did great. You showed great sporting will and courage, which may be an example for everyone who enters the competition. I want to highlight the main character of the Paralympics, Irek Zaripov, who won four golds and one silver medal,” RIA-Novosti quotes Dmitry Medvedev as saying.

It is worth noting that the monetary rewards received by the Paralympians are the same as the ones presented to the winners of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The champions will be paid €100,000, while silver and bronze medal winners can count on €60,000 and €40,000 respectively.

Earlier, the president of the Russian Paralympic Committee, Vladimir Lukin, announced that athletes will also be given prestigious cars.

Russia’s Paralympic team performed significantly better than its Olympic counterpart, which suffered its worst result in the country's history.