MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) - Belarusian athletes have departed for the 11th Paralympic Winter Games 2014 which will be held in Sochi, Russia, from 7 to 16 March, BelTA learnt from press attache of the Belarusian delegation Tatiana Podberezskaya.
At the Paralympics ten Belarusians will take part in biathlon and cross-country skiing. The full squad of Team Belarus is as follows:
Women: Lyudmila Volchek (cross-country skiing), Larisa Vorona (cross-country skiing, biathlon), Yadviga Skorobogataya (cross-country skiing, biathlon), Valentina Shchits (cross-country skiing) and Lidia Grafeyeva (cross-country skiing, biathlon).
Men: Vasily Shapteboi, Dmitry Loban, Yevgeny Lukyanenko, Sergei Silchenko and Sergei Volchunovich (all - cross-country skiing and biathlon).
The Belarusian delegation also includes leading sportsmen, coaches, servicemen and administrative personnel.
Three-time Paralympic champion in winter disciplines Lyudmila Volchek, winner and medalist of the Paralympics Yadviga Skorobogataya, and multiple medalists of the Winter Paralympics Larisa Vorona and Vasily Shapteboi are the most experienced athletes in Belarus’ squad. They are all considered the elite of the world sport.
Competitions of the 11th Winter Paralympic Games will be held in Sochi at the same venues which were used during the 22nd Winter Olympics. The Games will bring together 700 athletes from 47 countries, which will be a record high number of participants in the history of Winter Olympics. They will compete in 72 medal events in five sports: biathlon, alpine skiing, wheelchair curling, cross-country skiing and ice sledge hockey.
At the previous Paralympics in Vancouver (2010) Belarus was represented by nine athletes who won nine awards (2 gold and 7 bronze medals), which let the team take 9th place in the medal standings.