On the day before the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the Russian delegation took part in a Ceremony to raise the Paralympic flag and the flag of the Russian Federation in the Paralympic Village.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Kozak, President of the RPC, Vladimir Lukin, Head of the Russian national team delegation at the Paralympic Games and Vice-President of the RPC, Pavel Rozhkov, RPC General Secretary, Mikhail Terentiev and President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, were all present at the ceremony. In total, 183 athletes from over 40 regions of Russia have arrived in London as part of the Russian Paralympic team to compete for medals.
After raising the IPC flag, the Vice Mayor of the Paralympic Village and Member of UK Parliament, Don Foster, gave a welcoming speech to the Russian Paralympic team on behalf of the London 2012 Organising Committee. The ceremony continued with the Russian national Anthem being played as British military servicemen raised the Russian flag.
The welcoming ceremony was concluded with a dynamic theatre performance, which saw actors from the National Youth Theater of Great Britain perform a show with dances and acrobatics, as well as performing a medley of songs from the legendary QUEEN.
Members of the Russian delegation and the Russian Paralympic athletes also signed the Truce Wall, which symbolizes unity and friendship between peoples.
General Secretary of the Russian Paralympic Committee, Mikhail Terentiev, said:
"When a Russian athlete stands on the highest step of the podium, when the anthem is being played and the Russian flag is being raised, the entire country experiences joy and pride. The Paralympic Movement in Russia is just 15 years old, but with every Games our flag is raised more and more often. Overall, Russia will participate in 12 types of competitions. Together, we will support every one of our athletes!"
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said:
"In 555 days from now on the next Paralympic Games will be hosted in our country, in Sochi. It will be the first Paralympic Games in the history of Russia that are already leading to tangible transformations across the region and inspire the nation".