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28 Sep, 2011 14:01

Paralympic heroes receive awards in Moscow

Four-time Paralympic skiing champion, Irek Zaripov of Russia, has taken the major prize at the third annual Elena Mukhina National Awards, which took place in Moscow on Tuesday.

The event is named after the famous Russian gymnast who was badly injured during a competition in 1980."There are many awards, but this one is unique,” Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights commissioner, said. “It is named after a great gymnast, but it is not only about sport. It brings together people of many professions – people who have survived and managed to overcome all hardships."The Hungarian fencer and three-time Paralympic champ Pal Szekeres, and president of Chechnya’s Karate Kyokushinkai Federation, Badruddin Israilov, were also given awards in the presence of the head of the International Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven.It was not only Paralympians who shone at the ceremony. The amazing Luca Patuelli, who was born with a  muscle disorder, showed that serious illness can be overcome.The Canadian interpreted the same dance that he performed at the 2010 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony.