During the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has presented an honorary "Our Champion" diploma to Sergey Poddubny, the table-tennis player and distinguished Russian sports champion, who took part in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Poddubny, who hails fr om the Kemerov Region, became the seventh "Our Champion" and will lead educational, cultural and sporting events to engage the people of Russia with stories of his experience of taking part in Paralympic sport and promoting the Paralympic values.
Sochi 2014’s "Our Champions" will make appearances in all of Russia's federal regions during 2013, implementing the Organizing Committee’s Program to raise awareness among the Russian population of the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Values.
"Our Champion" Sergey Poddubny said:
"It is a great honor to receive the "Our Champion" diploma from the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, with no better time to accept the award than here in London wh ere our Paralympic team has already begun to win medals. I have no doubt that we will see many Russian athletes on the podium at London 2012, inspiring people across Russia with their skill, courage and determination. As a representative of the "Our Champion" project, I look forward to telling as many people as possible about Paralympic sport, the philosophy of the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic Values."
Notes to the editor
A wide ranging Program to raise awareness of the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Values among the population of the Russia began in 2011. The Program will last right up until 2014.
A key part of the Program is the "Our Champion" project, which aims to promote the Paralympic Values and spread information about the Paralympic sportsmen and women in various federal districts of our country. The "Our Champion" project is enabling people in Russia to get better acquainted with some of our Paralympians' stories, how they have overcome difficult circumstances in their lives and managed to reach the winner's pedestal at Russian and international sporting events.
The first person to become "Our Champion", back in April 2011, was the champion and record-holder from the 2008 Paralympic Summer Games in Beijing, Aleksey Ashapatov (from the Urals Federal District). The second person to be awarded the title, in September 2011, was a member of the Paralympic Winter Games of 2010 in Vancouver, the skier and biathlete Ivan Goncharov (from the Central Federal District). Third to receive the honor, in the same month, was the Chelyabinsk wheelchair curling team, "Granit". The fourth "Our champion" title was awarded in December 2011 to the sledge-hockey team "Udmurtia". At the same time the skier and biathlete Mikhalina Lysova (from the Urals Federal District) also became "Our Champion". And in 2012 the title was awarded to skier Kirill Mikhailov from the Republic of Bashkortostan (Volga Federal District).