January 26 through February 3, 2013 the village Yavoriv, Turka raion, will host Ukraine’s Championship in ski racing and biathlon among athletes with musculoskeletal apparatus disorders and vision impaired. It will be held on the base of the Western Ukrainian Rehabilitation Sports Center of Ukraine’s National Disabled Sports Committee. The championship is taking place in Ukraine for the second time.
According to the data provided by the National Disabled Sports Committee, 47 athletes from Ukraine’s 14 oblasts will be competing in the tournament for eight days. Twenty-nine athletes are members of Ukraine’s national Paralympic team in winter sports. It should be noted that our national team has a very strong lineup. All 29 athletes have defended the honor of our state at all international winter sports events (championships of Europe and the world, World Cup rounds, and Winter Paralympic Games).
The Ukrainian championship will become a kind of warm-up before even more important competitions: on February 23 the national Paralympic combined team in winter sports will perform at the World Championship on Ski Racing and Biathlon which will be held in Sweden. Its participants are self-confident and they hope that the weather won’t let them down, because it has been raining in Lviv region over the recent few days.
Myroslava SHPERYK, representative of the National Disabled Sports Committee of Ukraine in Lviv oblast:
“A peculiar feature of this championship is the record-breaking number of participants delegated by a record number of Ukraine’s regions, 14 oblasts, including Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv oblasts, and the city of Kyiv. And this is especially important, because it is not a simple thing to develop winter sports in our state, which is not so wintry. We put maximum efforts to provide the athletes with quality training in our young rehabilitation-sports center, which is not equipped well enough yet. The forty-seven sportsmen include 25 athletes with musculoskeletal disorders and 14 vision impaired athletes, as well as eight leader sportsmen. On the whole, there are 39 athletes with disabilities (23 men and 16 women). This Ukrainian championship can be proud of its participants, for those include Olena Yurkovska, a world renowned athlete, a Hero of Ukraine, many-time champion and prize winner of three winter Paralympic games, the best athlete of the world and Paralympic Games of 2006, and the best female athlete of the national Paralympic combined team of Ukraine of 2010, awarded with the title ‘Best Debut of Paralympic Games 2010’ by the International Paralympic Committee Oleksandra Kononova. Besides, there are 13 participants of Paralympic Games, including six champions and prize winners of Winter Paralympic Games. The coaches include four Merited Masters of Sport of Ukraine, seven Masters of Sport of Ukraine of international class, and four Masters of Sport of Ukraine.