President Petro Poroshenko met with champions and prize winners of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016, coaching staff and doctors of the teams to present high state awards to the best athletes.
“I am glad to have an occasion to meet everyone involved in successful performance of our athletes who decently represented our native country. The country is proud of you, our dear athletes,” the President said.
“Thank you for such a powerful representation of Ukraine, for this great victory has been achieved due to a tremendous will of the athletes. Thank you for your patriotism and love for Ukraine. For showing the real Ukraine in remote Brazil. For the glory gained for the sake of Ukraine,” he added.
The Head of State reminded that the National Olympic Team of Ukraine had won 11 medals and particularly noted gymnast Oleg Verniaiev and sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban.
“Athletes who won silver and bronze medals turned out to be real heroes. I can tell that silver and bronze medals are won due to an extremely tense struggle and desire to reach the top against all odds. Sometimes silver is worth more than gold,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
The President paid special attention to the Paralympic Team of Ukraine, which is an object of pride for every Ukrainian citizen. “To say that it is the best performance in our Paralympic history is to say nothing. The Ukrainian team showed its vanguard role in the world Paralympic movement, because over 170 countries have been struggling for the honorable right to be in the top three best sports countries of the world,” he said.
Ukrainian Paralympic athletes won 117 medals: 41 gold, 37 silver and 39 bronze medals. They set 22 world records, 32 Paralympic records and 54 European Paralympic records.
The Head of State noted that victories of Paralympic athletes had a great political importance, because Ukraine had lost the National Center for Paralympic and Deaflympic Training and Rehabilitation of the Disabled in Crimea as a result of the Russian aggression. “However, due to the efforts of the National Sports Committee for Disabled and federations, the training of the Paralympic team was held at the appropriate level,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
President Petro Poroshenko underlines the necessity of developing sports in Ukraine and supporting athletes for the achievement of high results.
“We face an acute issue of creating a modern sports infrastructure and providing high-quality equipment and inventory. This is a necessary condition for the development of mass sports, creation of Olympic reserve and training of high-class athletes," the President said at the meeting with champions and winners of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016.
“Of course, we must appreciate every medal winner, support them, create conditions for the work of Ukrainian athletes and coaches in Ukraine. Today, it is necessary to form and implement a model of physical education and sports, which would encourage people and especially youngsters to a healthy lifestyle," he added.
“The technical condition of the majority of sports facilities needs renovation, so the government should promptly take steps to conduct comprehensive inspection and ensure full functioning of the leading centers of Olympic training. As president, I will support every scientifically and economically reasoned proposal aimed at achieving specific short and long-term results for all our athletes to demonstrate decent performance at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018 and 2020 respectively," the Head of State said.