Russian paralympians set off for Beijing

The Russian team has arrived in Beijing for the Paralympics that are due to start on September 6. On Friday, most of the 140 sportsmen were in Victory Park – in the very heart of Moscow – to bid farewell to the country’s sports autho

Following the official ceremony a special church service was also held for athletes in Christ the Savior cathedral to bring them good luck at the upcoming Games.

Epee fencer Vladimir Polishchuk confessed that the support he receives will play a large role in his success.

“If I ever feel blue or depressed I will definitely recall it. I will always remember all those who've been praying and supporting us,” he said.

His team mate Sergey Frolov adds that the fencing team are good enough to have ambitious plans for winning Olympic medals.

“There can be no disappointment for us in Beijing anyway, as our being there in the Olympics is a success in itself. Athletes from all over the world are surprised to see the apparent progress we've made so far. We're now ready to compete on equal terms and have gained everybody's respect,” he said.  

The Russian paralympic team came first at the 2006 winter Olympics. In Beijing 2008 they have every chance to overcome their able-bodied mates as well.