Team Ukraine’s incredible Paralympics feat

The International Paralympic Committee has revealed its pledge to the Ukrainian crew following its unimaginable medal tally end.

The International Paralympic Committee will work intently with the Ukrainian delegation to make sure its security after the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games, revealed IPC president Andrew Parsons.

Speaking forward of the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Parsons linked Ukrainian athletes’ performances on the 2022 video games with the genesis of the Paralympic Movement in a post-WWII world.

Despite arriving in Beijing lower than 72 hours earlier than the primary occasions of the Winter Paralympics, Ukraine dominated the Para-biathlon and cross-country snowboarding disciplines to complete second on the general medal tally behind solely hosts China.

“To compete here at such a high level knowing their family and nation is under attack is just incredible. It’s one of the most incredible displays of resilience I’ve ever seen in my life, in or outside of sport,” Parsons stated.

“I can only express my admiration. I’m not sure I could do the same as they are doing here. But because they have the heart of an athlete, the heart of a Paralympian, they’re able to do this.”

Parsons stated the IPC would work intently with the Ukraine NPC as focus shifts to Paris 2024 and the way athletes can be affected by the continuing Russian invasion.

“We don’t want to disclose plans at the moment because it may impact their security and it will reveal some of the measures we’re taking with them and their whereabouts after this. We don’t want to go into details,” he stated.

Parsons and the IPC Governing Board got here beneath hearth earlier than the Beijing Games for first voting to permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete on the Winter Paralympics, earlier than backflipping on that call simply 12 hours later.

“No one can be happy with the outcome to not allow anyone. Any reason is not good. When we made two decisions on two consecutive days, we wanted the Games to be viable,” Parsons stated.

“(But) it was imperative that we changed our decision. We don’t like when politics mix with sports, but we have our limits.

“When we have a situation of war, like we’re facing now in Europe, it’s sometimes impossible to separate sport from the rest of the world. This was one example. We needed to take some action.

“What’s happening in Ukraine and Europe would have an impact on our event. We don’t want politics to drive the world of sport and we’ll keep trying to separate.

“The magnitude of the situation in Europe, it was not possible to do that in this specific situation.”

Sole Aussie Paralympian medallist enormous reward

Australian co-captain Ben Tudhope will carry the flag for his nation on the Beijing Winter Paralympics closing ceremony.

It would be the Manly native’s second time as a closing ceremony flag bearer, following on from Sochi in 2014 when a 14-year-old Tudhope earned the honour as Australia’s youngest-ever Winter Paralympian.

Tudhope, who with in the future of competitors to run has gained Australia’s solely medal of the video games thus far — bronze within the Snowboard Cross — stated it was an honour come full circle after eight years of progress on the world Para-snowboard circuit.

“To finish off my Beijing campaign with this achievement, to be Australian flag bearer is incredible,” the 22-year-old stated.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to finish the games, after the bronze, after everything the team has been through, I’m proud to be an Aussie and proud to be on this team.

“Back when I was 14 it was a true surprise — in the moment it was about the experience. I think being a bit bigger (now) and learning what the Paralympic Movement is about and really knowing everything about the Aussie team and who has come before me, it’s a true honour this time and I know the true responsibility it means to hold the flag and represent Australia.”

Australia Chef de Mission Kate McLaughlin shared the information with Tudhope on Saturday afternoon quickly after he was reunited together with his Australian teammates on the athletes’ village in Yanqing.

She stated Tudhope had earned his second go-around and could be “a pretty popular choice” amongst each the Australian crew and group.

“Ben is an athlete who I think everyone has seen in the past couple of weeks is not only a champion athlete but he’s also just a pretty amazing Australian,” McLoughlin stated.

“The way he speaks, his gratitude to his coaches, to his team and the way he feels so proud to be an Australian Paralympian, I just think it exemplifies everything that’s amazing about Australian Paralympic sport.

“A two-time flag bearer but thoroughly deserved in every single way.”

Paralympian’s push for sexual revolution

Athletes at Beijing’s Winter Paralympics are usually not simply breaking down sports activities limitations on the slopes and ice — Argentinian skier Enrique Plantey is pushing for a bed room revolution.

The 39-year-old and his non-disabled Spanish girlfriend Triana Serfaty have printed a sensible guidebook referred to as “Sexistimos” — a nod to the Spanish time period for “we exist” — about incapacity and intercourse.

They hope it sparks an open dialog on what’s a tough matter for a lot of. “People are afraid to talk openly about it,” Plantey, who’s a paraplegic, instructed AFP.

“The main problem is that many people with a disability think they can no longer have a sex life and give pleasure, and this is not the case,” added Plantey, who got here fourth within the big slalom alpine snowboarding sitting class.

Some individuals residing with disabilities expertise anxiousness about intercourse — comparable to whether or not a associate will discover them enticing, ache points, issues about fertility and a insecurity.

For some there’s additionally worries about logistical points comparable to getting from a wheelchair right into a mattress.

Society typically considers individuals with bodily or mental disabilities as “non-sexual” — many reside in isolation and don’t have long-term romantic companions, based on Disabled World, an unbiased organisation that gives well being assets.

But there are indicators that attitudes are altering. The concern broke new floor when Hollywood actor Helen Hunt starred in 2012 movie The Sessions, a couple of polio survivor’s quest to lose his virginity with the assistance of a intercourse surrogate.

Dating web sites particularly for individuals with disabilities are additionally serving to many discover romance.

Plantey, a three-time Paralympian, has used a wheelchair since sustaining a spinal wire harm as an 11-year-old.

Growing up he lamented a lack of expertise and assets about the way to have a wholesome intercourse life as a younger man utilizing a wheelchair.

He makes use of Viagra however doesn’t have sensations under his waist. Nevertheless, he stated it was attainable to “find sources of pleasure in all parts of the body, not just the genitals”.

Serfaty stated it was essential {couples} attempt to talk truthfully about their sensible wants and wishes, with out concern, judgment or embarrassment.

“This information exists. The problem is that it is often not disseminated,” stated the 29-year-old.

Some medical professionals have been giving individuals with disabilities incorrect details about intercourse perform, Serfaty famous.

“His doctor had told him he couldn’t have sex,” she stated.

“But since he got to know his body, he realised that wasn’t true. You have to see for yourself what you’re capable of. No one can decide for you.” The couple have turned to Tantric intercourse strategies and their e-book and corresponding Instagram account attracts on their private experiences.

Argentina’s flag-bearer stated the couple’s efforts to advertise the subject of intercourse and disabilities was paying off — producing plenty of curiosity within the Athletes’ Village in Beijing.

“Many in the Paralympic village come to me to talk about sex and ask questions,” Plantey stated.

“Just the other day, someone — I won’t say who — came to find me, in front of my room, to ask me for Viagra,” he laughed.


Callum Dick

Australia is getting ready to its worst Winter Paralympics medal haul since 1988 after Para-snowboarder Ben Tudhope missed the rostrum within the Men’s Banked Slalom SBLL-2 on Friday.

The Aussie co-captain had beforehand gained Australia’s first and so-far solely medal of the 2022 Games within the Snowboard Cross on Monday and was thought-about an equal likelihood within the Banked Slalom.

But the Paralympic course provided little favours to the Aussie, who managed to enhance his time from the opening run however in the end completed ninth.

“Not the result I wanted, my worst result of the season, but I can’t be disappointed,” Tudhope stated.

“I sent it on that second run, I tried to go as hard as I could and do a few different things but it wasn’t enough to get on the podium.

“I was feeling great, I was really ready to compete and I do like the course but it definitely doesn’t suit my (strengths).

“For Banked Slalom I love a really tight course that is quite steep where you have to maintain your speed and here, the Paralympic course is awesome … but just a bit too open (for me). Something I need to work on is how to gain speed out of turns, and so for the next four years that’s got to be what I’m doing.”

China’s Sun Qi — the person who Tudhope beat-out for bronze within the Snowboard Cross – produced an enormous boil over to assert gold forward of Finland’s Matti Suur-Harami and Ollie Hill of Great Britain.

The course performed completely to the strengths of the hometown hopeful, who previous to Beijing had hardly ever featured close to the sharp finish of worldwide competitors.

With Tudhope’s Games now over, Australia’s finest hope of a second medal falls on the shoulders of retiring four-time Paralympian Mel Perrine.

The 34 yr previous, who gained bronze within the Giant Slalom and Super-Combined in PyeongChang, will race for the ultimate time on Saturday within the Women’s Slalom Vision Impaired.

Perrine completed fourth in the identical occasion in PyeongChang however enters as an out of doors medal hope at finest after a Covid and injury-interrupted lead-in to her ultimate Winter Paralympics.

Rae Anderson, Mitch Gourley, Patrick Jensen and Josh Hanlon can even compete of their respective Slalom classifications on Saturday and Sunday, although none are favoured to medal.

If Tudhope’s bronze stays Australia’s solely medal of the 2022 Games, it is going to be our worst tally since a crew of 5 didn’t function on the rostrum at Innsbruck in 1988.

“It’s been a really tough build-up and that’s exactly what it is; the preparation going into it was definitely altered for us,” Tudhope stated.

“You’ve got countries in Europe and America who can train all winter so when we’ve been stuck in Australia for the past two years, they’ve just been progressing and getting better and better.

“I think Australia has done a really good job … and I’m sure we will do a lot better in years to come.”

With not less than two, presumably three Winter Paralympics nonetheless forward of him, Tudhope urged younger Australians with incapacity to provide Para-snow sports activities forward of Milan-Cortina 2026.

“I hope how we showcased our sports has inspired so many other athletes and other people to come into Paralympic snowboarding in Australia and around the world. I do not want to be the youngest on the team at 26 in Italy – I’ve done that three times now, and I want new blood in (the team),” he stated.

“It’s been an absolute honour to be team captain. I (want to) thank Australia, our Paralympic team for picking me at a young age, and I hope to lead this team for many more years to come if Australia will let me.”


Callum Dick

Air air pollution on the Winter Paralympics is approaching ranges three-times the benchmark for concern with an Australian crew physician evaluating the competitors circumstances to these produced by bushfires again residence.

Paralympics Australia chief medical officer Dr Steve Reid instructed News Corp his crew had been intently monitoring the Air Quality Index (AQI) and Particulate Matter (PM) ranges since arriving in China and each had risen drastically since Tuesday.

“Once it gets above 50 we start to be concerned about people performing outdoor exercise for long periods. Today in Yanqing, the PM2.5 is around 130,” Dr Reid stated.

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that’s two and a half microns in width, or roughly 30 occasions smaller than the width of a human hair.

“The bigger stuff (PM5, PM10) gets filtered through the nasal passages and upper airways and the really small stuff (PM2.5) gets down into the small airways and causes things like broncho constriction, airway inflammation and asthma, so it’s the 2.5 that we pay most attention to,” Dr Reid stated.

“If you’re an asthmatic they can trigger asthma, but if you’re someone who doesn’t normally get asthma, if the air is polluted enough then you can get nasty respiratory symptoms – and even if you don’t develop respiratory symptoms, if you’re exercising outdoors in a consistent fashion, your performance (can be) blunted and you lose that performance edge.

“A PM2.5 of 130-140 would be something (that might occur) in Australia (during) bush fires – those might be the times we see those numbers being reached and when we might be cancelling outdoor sporting events.”

At Yanqing, near the place Australians Mel Perrine and Rae Anderson competed within the Women’s Giant Slalom on Friday, the AQI topped 158. It was an analogous story in Chongli for Ben Tudhope within the Para-snowboarding, the place the PM2.5 hit 156 previous to his first run within the Banked Slalom.

The inform story poisonous fog first descended on the Winter Paralympics on Wednesday, which led Dr Reid to ship a message to athletes and crew officers warning them to maintain home windows closed and restrict time spent outdoor.

He stated air filtration models left behind by the AOC have been being utilized by employees and athletes within the village to drastically decrease the PM2.5 ranges whereas indoors, and path had been given to restrict publicity the place attainable.

“You can’t take away from the fact that this sport that’s practised outdoors and (in) winter sports, what they have to do is just be efficient with their work,” Dr Reid stated of the Australian athletes.

“Thankfully we’re not dealing with cross-country skiing (which) on a day like today there would be much more concern.

“I think those would be the sports where you would have a higher level of concern … you can expect their overall performances will be compromised by performing endurance sport in those conditions.

“We’re dealing with downhill athletes where they have a really intense effort over a couple of minutes. So it’s very much a matter of: inspect the course, (do) a couple of warm-up runs, into the lounge, do your competition, back to the lounge, recover, and get home.”

Dr Reid stated numerous members of the Australian delegation have been managing bronchial asthma signs whereas in China, including there had thus far not been “any major problems”.

“We’re just really getting them to increase their preventive medication, which is really something that counters any inflammation, and making sure they increase those while they’re here,” he stated.

“We haven’t had any major problems but I know even myself, just being outside the other day I was aware that my eyes were stringing a bit.”

Originally printed as Winter Paralympics: Ben Tudhope named Australian flagbearer for second time; Ukraine’s incredible feat

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