For the first time in Russia, tasks related to setting up a barrier-free environment have been described, as part of the special Concept Program to create a barrier-free environment for the XXII Olympic Winter Games and the XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi. The Concept takes account of accessibility standards and requirements that are imposed on the host-city of the Games by the IOC and the IPC. This concept was approved by the government and will make it possible for new national standards relating to a barrier-free environment to begin to be developed.
As part of the concept that has been developed, the first measures related to promoting Paralympianism have been taken:
International Paralympic Day was held in Russia, in Moscow's Red Square, for the first time in the history of world Paralympic sport. The participants and guests, who included the directors of the International Paralympic Committee, the Russian Paralympic Committee and other organizations, and leading figures from the Paralympic community, were welcomed by the President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev. For the first time, athletes with disabilities competed on Red Square during the course of the demonstration performances.
A reference guide to the Paralympic Games has also been published (the first ever in Russia), showing the history of the Paralympic movement, and provides information about Paralympic sports and the main competition rules. Moreover, the reference guide also shows the structure of the International Paralympic Committee and the main international organizations that are involved in organizing sport for people with disabilities, and short sports biographies were published of outstanding athletes with disabilities.
The guests will then move into the zone for international and national Olympic partners. There they will see a unique train with recognizable Russian landscapes flickering in its "windows", along with an interactive stand for the resort Gorki Gorod, where during the Games there will be a media center for journalists covering the competitions in the Mountain Cluster. And thanks to the very latest interactive simulations, visitors will be able to head off on a 3D "flight" along the bobsleigh track and have a go at curling. Besides all this, there will be some video stands displaying interesting facts about the forthcoming Games in Sochi and talking about famous Olympic athletes.