MOSCOW, March 3 (R-Sport) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that even though the Winter Olympics are over, organizers should not relax yet as the country still needs to put on a worthy Paralympics.
The organization of last month’s Winter Games won near-universal praise, but four days ahead of the Paralympics opening ceremony in Sochi, Medvedev says the job is only half done.
"Let everybody know that no one should relax," Medvedev said Monday. "We need to show our best qualities."
A dark cloud has been cast over the prospective proceedings, however, with British Prime Minister David Cameron announcing over the weekend that his government would be dispatching no ministers to attend the event in protest at Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach lauded the organization of the Sochi Games as excellent, presiding over his first Olympics since his election in September.
Paralympians from 44 nations have been steadily arriving at the Black Sea resort over the last few days ahead of the competition, which sees 700 competitors shoot for medals in 64 events.
The five sports are alpine skiing, sledge hockey, wheelchair curling, biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Competitions will run through until March 16.