Paralympic Winter Games
7-16 March

Sochi Public Council Discuss How to Make Paralympic Host City Accessible

19 Oct 2010 By IPC

The latest meeting of the Public Council for the preparation of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games has taken place during the last day of the fourth visit by the IOC Coordination Commission to Sochi. The Council discussed a barrier-free environment for people with a disability.

The Council Chairman, General Director of ITAR TASS, Vitaly Ignatenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, and four-times champion of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and Sochi 2014 Ambassador Irek Zaripov, participated in the Public Council meeting.

Members of the Public Council discussed implementing the Federal government’s “Plan of activities aimed at creating a barrier-free environment for the XXII Olympic Winter Games and Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in the city”. The plan envisages barrier-free access to the main transport and public facilities of Sochi as well as the training of personnel and volunteers for the coming Paralympic Games.

The project for developing a barrier-free environment in Sochi currently involves around 20 public organisations, including the organisations of federal and regional level. By 2014 about 5,000 volunteers will be trained to work with people with a disability by the beginning of the Games.

According to Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee: “The Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi are a unique opportunity to integrate people with a disability into the whole of Russian society. The concept devised by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee for a barrier-free environment has been endorsed by leading associations for people living with a disability in Russia. Everything being constructed for the Games - transport, roads, sporting and public facilities - will be a model for a barrier-free environment throughout Russia.

“The Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee is developing an integrated programme for raising awareness among the Russian population about the Paralympic Games and Paralympic values, which will be implemented in 2011-2014. I am certain that the new standards of the barrier-free environment, together with the removal of old mental barriers on the part of the general public regarding disabilities will be one of the key legacies of the Games of 2014 in Sochi.”

Commenting on the results of the fourth Coordination Commission meeting in Sochi International Paralympic Committee (IPC) representative Miguel Sagarra said: “The Organizing Committee is making some good progress in a number of areas not only in terms of building infrastructure but trying to change attitudes towards people with a disability. We will continue to monitor their progress closely and are keen that their plans to create a barrier free environment for Sochi and Russia are integrated into their design plans for all venues that will serve 2014 Games. “