“Angry disgrace.” Why did Paralympic athletes climb the stairs to the hotel in their hands?

On July 18, a video appeared on the network, as participants of the Russian athletics championship among people with musculoskeletal disorders were forced to climb the stairs to one of the hotels in Cheboksary, equipped with an impromptu ramp.

Representatives of the Rossiya Hotel told socialbites.ca that athletes can always use the call button located at the entrance to the building.

“The hotel is equipped with a call button for groups with limited mobility, there are helpers for landing / ascent,” said the Rossiya hotel.

The coach of the Russian national Paralympic team Irina Gromova, who is currently in Cheboksary with her athletes, accused the municipal authorities of being negligent towards wheelchair users.

“Literally everything is not provided here: sidewalks, roads … The whole city is simply not adapted: cafes, pharmacies … Here we need to completely solve the problem. We go to the stadium – and crossings with roads and sidewalks everywhere.

Pharmacies say “Press the button”. Seriously? You can press the button, you just have to climb the stairs for it.

We have an Accessible Environment program in the country where the money is allocated. Provincial and district administrations should control this,” Yükseliş said in the words of his mentor.

According to him, the ramp installed next to the stairs is not suitable for independent ascents and descents in wheelchairs, and the hotel management does not allow the athletes to pass through the service entrance of the building where they live.

“As of today, there are two guys helping out. But they are not trained and that is really dangerous. “If a person does not know how to use a wheelchair, he himself gets injured and, God forbid, drops the wheelchair,” he said.

This angered sports commentator Dmitry Guberniev. “Cheboksary, of course, hit rock bottom! But if the city is not at all adapted to the normal life of the disabled, who came up with the idea to hold competitions there? Or is this a rhetorical question? severe embarrassment…

I would not like to think that in the cities and towns of Russia there is no accessible environment for the disabled. Was there any money allocated? Or did they self-destruct? Guberniev wrote on the Telegram channel.

The mayor of Cheboksary, Oleg Korshunov, reacted succinctly to the news.

“There were no complaints. We will double-check the information,” Rise quotes the city mayor.

The tournament, which will be held between 16-19 June, brought together about 400 Paralympic athletes competing in various branches of athletics. Elena Belkina, President of the Russian Paralympic Fencing Federation, said in an interview with socialbites.ca that organizing such competitions in the regions is a serious achievement in itself.

“Today is the last day of the Russian wheelchair fencing championship in Ufa, 100 people from 12 regions, an incredible result! This is a serious achievement for Paralympic sports in modern Russia.

And coincidentally not having a ramp is not such a serious problem. Then they will build ramps. There are volunteers – all regions send volunteers.

Always talk about positive things. The fact that the federation decided to go and organize competitions [в Чебоксарах] already a big plus. If at least something has been done for the development of the Paralympics, I always thank you very much, ”said Belkina.

According to him, organizing sports events for the disabled in the regions contributes to their development, which makes the environment more accessible for the disabled.

“I’m not inclined to criticize, I just tend to say thank you because we started so well. We started when there was nothing in the country. Slowly, over the 18 years I’ve been into wheelchair fencing, the Paralympic sport is advancing.

I believe it would be better to develop this and bring competitions to regions that are not yet ready in terms of infrastructure. At least someone will see it.

This is a difficult thing, our country is completely incompatible. Therefore, if something positive happens, you need to talk about it immediately! I’m sure they will make these ramps later. It is very difficult to organize competitions for Paralympic athletes, believe me. Therefore, thanks to the organizers for deciding to do this,” added Belkina.

Participants in national athletics competitions faced problems in Cheboksary. To get to the hotel, they had to get out of the wheelchair and climb the stairs with their hands. The head coach of the Russian national team criticized the city for widespread obstacles and non-compliance with the Accessible Environment program, and Dmitry Guberniev called the situation “a severe embarrassment”. Elena Belkina, President of the Russian Paralympic Fencing Federation, in an interview with socialbites.ca, on the contrary, urged the authorities not to scold and thanked the organizers of the Russian Championship for taking an important step in the development of Paralympic sports. regions.

Source: Gazeta


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