Before they head to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Kazakhstan’s athletes got a treat when they travelled to Colorado Springs for a training camp at the US Olympic Training Centre (OTC)
With the support of McDonalds and Samruk-Kazyna Trust, 10 Kazakhstani athletes spent part of their Rio preparations where US Olympic and Paralympic athletes also train. The experience was unique for Kazakhstani swimmer Roman Agalakov, who said it was special to train in the same pool were the most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps had also trained.
“Knowing that a legend Michael Phelps swam here is cool,” Agalakov said. “The equipment and facilities are also perfect. I did miss my family a bit but I enjoyed my stay there. I enjoy and take pleasure in training because it is my job. I get the chance travel and see the world. I also like the town [Colorado Springs] and its nature. There are mountains everywhere.”
The OTC in Colorado is a sports campus that provides housing, dining, state-of-the-art recreational facilities and other services for up athletes and their coaches. While it is mostly US able-bodied and Para athletes who train there, the OTC also hosts international athletes for camps, holds sporting events and is also very accessible.
This is the first time the Kazakhstan Paralympic Committee held a training camp at the OTC. The aim was to give their athletes more experience abroad and also widen their international exposure.
“The training centre is the best one,” said swimmer Natalya Zvyagintseva. “Everything is catered for the athletes: equipment and atmosphere. Olympic and Paralympic athletes stay here like one family, eating and training together.
“I liked the attitude [from the people at the Training Centre] toward us. The atmosphere is nice, as well as swimming-pool. It is my first experience training in America.”
Added athlete Amanat Kalkayev: “I really enjoyed training here because of the equipment and the gym. While staying here, I saw the process of how the American athletes prepared for Rio. ”
Swimmer Anuar Akhmetov echoed Kalkayev’s thoughts:
“Everything around is more than good: equipment, surroundings, eating, gym, sport complexes, swimming pool.
“It is a very good idea to get training here before the Paralympics Games. I liked it very much and I felt a strong atmosphere training with other Olympic and Paralympic teams. It is such a great experience for me and I got the chance to see how other Paralympics and Olympics athletes training.
“It is a very good idea to gather all athletes here no matter what type of sport we represent.”
The team then continued their preparations for Rio 2016 at Arakaju, Brazil.
Kazakhstan will send 10 athletes to compete in next month’s Games, across five sports: swimming, judo, powerlifting, athletics and archery.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.