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March 4, 2014

Rail border between the Ukraine and Russia remains open

Rail border between the Ukraine and Russia remains open

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2013 photo of a Ukrainian Railways train departing Kiev for the Crimea
Image: calflier001.

Despite the intervention in parts of Crimea, Ukraine by forces connected to Russia in the past few days, the rail border between the countries remains open today. Neither Ukrzaliznytsia, the Ukrainian national railway, nor Russian Railways have any announcements on their website regarding any changes in service.

According to Ukrainian Independent Information Agency, people entering the Ukraine from Russia are receiving extra scrutiny at at the border. At platform checkpoints for passport control, “additional steps are being organized in relation to regional transport police to deal the possibility of localization of possible conflicts.”((uk)) If the guards suspect people are entering for the purpose of destabilizing the country, the police reserve the right to deny them entry to the country.

The Baltic News Agency((ru)) reports that Russians traveling via train between the two countries have been turned away at the border including a man traveling from Yekaterinburg to Simferopol, a Russian Naval Infantry reservist((ru)).

The 2014 Winter Paralympics are scheduled to start Friday in Sochi, Russia and some attendees, including Wikinews reporters, are scheduled to arrive at the Games via trains between Russia and the Ukraine.



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March 3, 2014

Canada has no plans to boycott Winter Paralympics

Canada has no plans to boycott Winter Paralympics

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Monday, March 3, 2014

File photo of Mac Marcoux of Canada at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships at La Molina in Spain. Marcoux is a member of the Canadian Paralympic team set to compete in Sochi
Image: María Sefidari.

Yesterday the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said there are no plans to boycott the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia even as Canada takes other actions in response to Russian military intervention in Crimea, Ukraine. On Saturday Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also stated there were no plans to boycott the Games, set to start March 7.

Baird is quoted in as saying, “We don’t want the athletes to pay the price for this.[…] But politically… I don’t think there’s any way we’d want to have senior-level government leadership going there to somehow glorify Russia’s leadership.” Toronto Star Sports Columnist Cathal Kelly published an editorial on Saturday saying Canada needs to boycott the Sochi Paralympics.

Canada has already recalled its ambassador to Russia. The Canadian government is considering expelling the Russian ambassador from the country. Yesterday, Harper said the country plans to boycott meetings leading up to the upcoming Russian-chaired G8 summit. He also said Canada was working with the United Nations to monitor the situation in the Ukraine, and is exploring the possibility of offering financial assistance to the country.

In an e-mail from Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen O’Neill to Kelly, the organization refused to answer direct questions about any potential boycott of the Games.

Canada has previously boycotted an Olympics in Russia. In 1980, the country boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow because of the USSR invasion of Afghanistan. They were joined by a number of other countries including the United States and West Germany.



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November 16, 2013

Wikinews interviews academic Simon Ličen about attitudes towards US Paralympics

Wikinews interviews academic Simon Ličen about attitudes towards US Paralympics

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

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A Russian stamp for Paralympic Games in Sochi in 2014
Image: Почта России/Russian Post.

On Thursday, with 110 days until the start of the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Wikinews interviewed Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, Sport Studies and Educational/Counseling Psychology at Washington State University Simon Ličen about attitudes in United States towards the Paralympics.

Licen has recently joined the Sport Management Program at Washington State University to develop its sport media and communication research and teaching contents. Originally from Slovenia, he served as the Director of Media and Communications of a WTA Tour event and was a member of the UNESCO Slovenian National Commission. He was also the Team Manager of the Slovenian wheelchair basketball national team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png: Why do you think the Paralympic movement has so little visibility in the US compared to other countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and even Canada?

Simon Ličen: Sports in the United States largely reaffirm existing relations of power in society. It emphasizes consumerism, the belief that success always goes to people who merit it due to their abilities, dedication and qualifications, and reinforces, rather than changes, existing ideas related to gender, ethnicity and nationality. Paralympic sport brings attention to athletes who are typically overlooked in American society because the majority of the population does not want to identify with people who are disabled. Although disability is not contagious, interest in disabled sports might put into question the masculinity of the males following it. Disabled athletes also challenge existing relations of power by displaying dedication, hard work and perseverance in different contexts than those most sports fans are accustomed to.
Other countries, including the ones you mention, have stronger social orientations in all aspects of society. Even though legislative support may be less strong than the one provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, many social institutions including the media are more receptive to this form of diversity.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What do you think the impact will be for the Paralympic movement will be with the Games being televised live in the United States for first time?

Simon Ličen: The impact depends on a number of aspects. One of them is the channels that NBC as the broadcasting rights owner for the United States will use to air the Paralympic Games on. Will they be shown nationally or regionally, on NBC or on any of the company’s multiple cable networks? A second aspect is the parts or hours of the day the Paralympics will be shown. Remember that there is a nine-hour difference between Sochi and New York, and a 12-hour difference between Sochi and the US West Coast. So daytime events will be shown live in the United States in the middle of the night, and evening prime-time events will be shown — indeed live — in the morning U.S. time. So showing the Paralympics live on United States television might turn out to be less glamorous than it appears. A third important factor is the way the event will be mediated: will NBC have its best sports broadcasters following the event after having worked the Winter Olympics? Will they treat and announce the competitions as they do all others — for better and worse? Will they take it as an opportunity to educate viewers about disability and diversity while showing superb athletic performances without engaging in a discourse of pity? All in all, I think this is a terrific opportunity to improve sports coverage in a multitude of aspects; but we will have to wait until after the event to assess to what extent the broadcasters will meet these expectations.

USA skier Ralph Green last year at the 2012 IPC NorAm Cup.
Image: Bidgee.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What role should the media be playing in promoting the Paralympic Games? Why does the US media provide so little coverage of the Paralympics compared to other sports?

Simon Ličen: I don’t think the media should be promoting any sports event. I think the role of the media is to inform about the event and to cover it fairly. It is not just the Paralympic Games, or disable sports in general that yield very little media coverage; a recent study has shown that women’s sports only account for 1.3%–1.6% of televised news media. The situation improves considerably during the Olympic Games and prime-time Olympic coverage comes close to equal coverage of both men’s and women’s sport. Outside of that, however, U.S. media coverage is largely limited to the men’s four major leagues, college football and college basketball. Again, the media decide which sports to cover based on their perceived entertainment value and its potential of generating sponsor revenues. The Paralympic Games are complex to understand and its participants hard to identify with because there are less instances of dominating performances and long-standing rivalries, which are concepts that are understandable even to the casual fan.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What role does the fact that the Paralympics are about people with disability competing at sport play in the American public’s reception of the Paralympics?

Simon Ličen: I would speculate that the American public is largely indifferent to the event as it is currently represented in the media. The majority of people are oblivious of the Paralympic Games. They might greet an American medal winner as this would reaffirm the success, supremacy and tenacity of an American representative in a global field. In more general terms, however, the American public chooses to largely overlook disabled sports as the average able-bodied person likely does not want to be represented by, and thus identify with, a disabled person.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Is the fact the US Olympic Committee is the national Paralympic Committee a hinderance or help in the development of the Paralympic movement in the US?

Simon Ličen: In general terms, this is both an opportunity and a risk: it can activate its sizable financial, promotional and media influence to bring attention to the Paralympic movement, but at the same time might choose to push disabled sports to the side in order to accommodate influential sponsors. I am not familiar with the specific work done by the US Olympic Committee in terms of supporting, popularizing and expanding the Paralympic movement so I cannot speculate which way the actual work done by the USOC sways.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: What conditions need to exist in the US for Paralympic athletes to get sponsorship similar to their Olympic counterparts?

Simon Ličen: Sport sponsorships are indeed strongly influenced by the media prominence of competing individuals. Individual disabled athletes have already been able to secure profitable sponsorship and endorsement contracts; perhaps the most notable example is Oscar Pistorius who was in this sense a true groundbreaker before falling off the pedestal due to his pending trial. This is even more true when one considers that not all Olympic athletes are able to secure profitable or even exaggerated contacts: an Olympic archery champion is less appealing than an Olympic champion javelin thrower, a female javelin thrower is less appealing than a male sprinter, and a Jamaican champion sprinter is less appealing than an American elite basketball player. Sporadic media appearances, such as those during the Paralympic fortnight, will hardly suffice to land disabled athletes major contracts; an athlete has to be in the constant media and popular spotlights to secure lucrative contracts. Until Paralympic athletes […] [are] able to achieve that kind of media presence, high sponsorships are likely to elude them.

USA skier Andrew Earl Kurka at the 2012 IPC NorAm Cup
Image: Bidgee.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Many countries provide federal money to support their Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Should the US consider this as a way of increasing visibility for the Paralympics, supporting increased opportunities for people with disabilities and increasing the US Paralympic medal count?

Simon Ličen: Focusing on the US medal count will successfully keep the Paralympic Games away from mainstream attention! A focus on the medal count as a means to establish supremacy is typical for American professional sports, and the Paralympics will never be able to beat the Olympic Games or the major leagues at their game. This is why the Paralympic Games should involve a different narrative.
Countries typically allocate governmental support to the more vulnerable groups in society because those who are strong can protect their interests through their vast financial and social means. In this sense, the United States should support participation in the Paralympic Games to promote adaptive sports in general and thus increase sports participation among people with disabilities. People with disabilities are among those who most benefit from participating in sports and physical activity due to their health and social advantage; however, they also have much fewer opportunities for sport participation and often require expensive adapted sports equipment. Public funds should contribute to their sport activity in general, and federal funding of Paralympic athletes could certainly provide an excellent example for local communities. Unfortunately, I fear that even the most progressive congresswomen and congressmen will be [reluctant] to increase that funding given the current federal budgetary situation.



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November 9, 2013

US Congresswoman Jackie Speier comments about Obamacare, Paralympics

US Congresswoman Jackie Speier comments about Obamacare, Paralympics

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

File photo of Jackie Speier (D-CA), Member of the United States House of Representatives
Image: United States Congress.

With the 2014 Winter Paralympics set for March, Wikinews sought comment from U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, who serves California’s 14th congressional district about the event and how current U.S. policies impact people with disabilities. Elected to the U.S. House in 2008, she serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee. For the first time ever, the Paralympics will be broadcast live in the U.S. on network television.


Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png: Will “ObamaCare” have a positive or negative impact on the lives of people with disabilities?

Jackie Speier: By-and-large the Affordable Care Act will have a significant and lasting beneficial impact on persons with disabilities […] Most importantly, pre-existing conditions will no longer prevent persons with disabilities from obtaining health insurance. Lifetime limits on medical expenses will be removed and preventive services will be free. All of these provisions of the law create health insurance that is highly supportive of good health outcomes for everyone, but in particular for those who have a disability.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Are there any Paralympic athletes or elite athletes with disabilities from your district that people should know more about?

Jackie Speier: There are currently two Paralympic athletes who train or live in my district that people will definitely hear more about in the coming years. One is a young woman named Allie Hyatt who trains in Judo with Willy Cahill, [whom] I have also trained with. Allie, who is visually impaired and just 15, has already won numerous awards and will participate in the Youth Olympic Games next year. She is sure to be a force in the Judo world for many, many years. Hyatt lives in San Francisco and Cahill is the founder and CEO of the Blind Judo Foundation.

Another great athlete is Mohamend Lahna who is training for the Rio Olympics in 2016 for the paratriathlon,” Speier continued. “He is from Morocco originally but lives now in San Mateo and trains daily at the College of San Mateo. He runs marathons with a prosthetic leg and has his sights set on winning several medals atworld and Olympic events in the future. Lahna has proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a birth defect that affects the hip and pelvis. He is married and has a 1-year-old child.

Wikinews also sought comment from other members of Congress, including John K. Delaney, Mike Honda, Kyrsten Sinema, Eric Swalwell, Raúl M. Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick but at publication time, had received no response.



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August 7, 2013

Russian government homosexuality position leads to NYC Russian vodka boycott

Russian government homosexuality position leads to NYC Russian vodka boycott

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Russian vodka
Image: Anthony Knuppel Appleton.

As of Monday, over 200 New York City area bars and restaurants had committed to boycotting Russian vodka in response to anti-homosexuality related laws passed by the country’s government. The boycott follows another event that took place on Monday where bottles of vodka were poured onto the streets of the city, as part of a protest by the President of United Restaurant and Tavern Owners Association, Paul Hurley.

New York One quotes Hurley as saying the reason for the boycott as , “We’re not stupid, we’re reading papers, we’re reading what’s going on over there, they’ve got to stop what’s happened.”

The press conference announcing the New York City boycott took place at Desmonds Steakhouse located on the 38th Street and 7th Avenue. LGBT activists and models attended the event. Johnny Donovan, manager of J Donovan Productions, is quoted by the New York Daily Times as saying, “Shame on Russia! […] When I go out to a night club this weekend, I’m not drinking any Russian vodka!”

Activists in other cities are also boycotting Russian vodka. A protest at the San Francisco City Hall took place on Tuesday, where vodka was dumped into the sewers. On social media, the hashtag #dumpstoli is being used to draw attention to the boycott and protests.

These boycotts are not without criticism. Dodds of Time Magazine points out, “At first glance, Stoli seems a logical target for those hoping to promote greater awareness of the plight of gays in Russia. Not only is it widely associated with the country, vodka is also one of Russia’s most profitable consumer exports to the U.S. […] But while Stoli’s ingredients — wheat, rye and raw alcohol — are Russian, the vodka itself is distilled in Latvia and distributed in the U.S. by William Grant & Sons USA, an American subsidiary of a Scottish corporation.” The international popularity of the brand have resulted in the company being continually threatened with nationalization by the Russian government.

A 2013 world map showing areas same-sex couple adoption rules
Image: Titanicophile.

Last month, gay and lesbian couples were barred by law from adopting Russian children. The country also banned “homosexual propaganda.” The legislation means gays and lesbians, if found guilty of breaking these laws, could be jailed. According to Russia Today, most Russians support the legislation “against promoting homosexuality to minors.” Russia Today goes on to say these laws are, “intend[ed] to keep minors from being influenced by non-traditional sexual relationship propaganda and it will be enforced with fines, but not criminal punishment.”

A Pew Research Center study published in June suggests that attitudes towards homosexuality in Russia found the population to be the least accepting of homosexuals of nine other European countries also surveyed. Countries with less acceptance than Russia included in the survey include Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria. Negative Russian attitudes towards homosexuality are also supported by research conducted by Russian Levada Center.

The homosexuality issue as it pertains to Russian law comes against the backdrop of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics scheduled to be hosted in the Russian city of Sochi early next year. Last week, Russian Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko reaffirmed the country will enforce these laws during the Games and foreign athletes, journalists and spectators will be subject to them.



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April 8, 2013

Wikinews interviews USA wheelchair curler David Palmer

Wikinews interviews USA wheelchair curler David Palmer

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Monday, April 8, 2013

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David Palmer of Team USA
Image: David Palmer.

David Palmer of Team USA
Image: David Palmer.

Wikinews interviewed David Palmer, a member of the USA 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship team, about the 2014 Winter Paralympics being held in Sochi, Russia.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png The US qualified a team for the Sochi Games. How likely are you to be on the final team? As these games would be your first, how excited are you about the possibility of representing your country?

David Palmer: It is very likely that I and the team that went to Sochi in 2013 will be the team in the Paralympics 2014 as long as no sickness or injury and we all continue to perform at our level.
DP: I am very happy and honored to represent my country. After competing in the last two world championships which were very exciting, I can not wait for the chance to compete at the Paralympics.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Were you happy with your team’s fourth place finish at this year’s World Championships?

DP: I was happy with the way the team played, we all thought we should have medaled. We finished third in the round-robin with a record of 7–2 and the closest behind us was 4–5. We all made a few mistakes and did not finish as well as we would have liked, but we are looking forward to next year.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What steps is the team taking to try to get a gold medal in Sochi?

DP: We will be training harder and hopefully playing more bonspiels (tournaments). Because this is a Paralympic year we hope to get more funding, to travel for more high level bonspiels. Because the team is scattered across the country it is hard to get together for practice and bonspiels so we have to do the majority of it on our own. We will be reviewing the tapes from the worlds [World Wheelchair Curling Championship] and video conferencing with team and discussing strategy and performance.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Why do you participate in wheelchair curling? Why not wheelchair fencing, tennis, basketball or athletics?

DP: I do participate in other sports at a recreational level. I have done waterskiing, monosking, wheelchair tennis and basketball, handcycling. I played and competed in sled hockey for about 12 years, but I found as I got older and the competition got younger it was pretty physical on the body. I went and tried curling at Cape Cod Curling Club in 2009, I found that I not only liked it but I was also pretty good at it. A member there (Tony Colacchio) took me under his wing and showed me the possibilities there were to compete at the National level. I thought he was crazy at first, but four years later here I am curling on team USA and traveling the world.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What is the nature of your disability? Do you use a wheelchair for most daily activities?

DP: I am a T4 Paraplegic, due to a motorcycle accident in 1993. Yes I am dependent on my wheelchair for mobility.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How does being a parent impact your ability to compete at elite levels?

DP: I am married and have three children. Having a family does make it a harder to compete at elite levels, not only being away traveling, when I am home I am on the ice training a lot. But thanks to the support from my family I have been able to do so. Hopefully it has a positive impact on my children, showing them you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Does participating in wheelchair curling cost a lot money?

DP: Well that depends! At a recreational level, if you have a wheelchair already all you need is a delivery stick which is about $60.00 and to join a club which has dues usually 300.00 to 500.00 per year. To compete at the highest level, there is travel and lodging involved which can get quite expensive.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you afford to compete at the highest level? Do you have any sponsorship deals?

DP: Getting started was tough, I got help through the members of cape cod curling club and a grant from Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and some out of my pocket. But once I made the National team there is funding to help with expenses. I have no sponsorship deals at the moment, but I am open to negotiation!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think USA Paralympic competitors get enough financial support to enable the country to compete at the highest level? Is funding equitable in the United States across sports and competitor visibility?

DP: No, there is funding, but not nearly enough for an athlete to compete at the highest level.
DP: Not from what I hear. I believe the higher viewed sports get a lot more funding. I have been told curling is at bottom for funding.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the classification system and processes for your sport? Do you know of anyone who has been impacted as a result of it?

DP: I am not really clear on how the classification system works. I feel that they should make it as equal as possible for everyone who competes in wheelchair curling. Everyone one has different disabilities and different situations, but as long as they are delivering the stone from a stationary wheelchair with a delivery stick from the same position it should be equal.
DP: I know of a young man from state of Washington who uses a wheelchair most of the time but is able to walk and has mobility, that he probably would not qualify for the national team.. Yet I know of a man in Canada that uses a wheelchair only for curling and competes on the National team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you gotten much media coverage? What do you think of media coverage for curling in general and wheelchair curling specifically?

DP: I Have had some media coverage from my locals newspaper, when I was competing in the worlds and when I made the National team.
DP: I do not think there is enough coverage for curling on television although there was quite a bit of coverage at the last Olympics, but not the Paralympics. I think if there were more coverage people would understand the sport better and perhaps grow to love it like I have. There is a lot more to it with strategy and skill than people think.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What has been your favorite moment as a wheelchair curling competitor?

DP: I think this past worlds in Sochi was my favorite time. Curling at the Olympic Venue (which was state of the art Facility), being the first one ever to curl there was special. Being there when they played our national anthem and I was representing my country was priceless! All of the volunteers there were young college students, they were so friendly and helpful and were asking us for our autographs. I felt like a celebrity. I cannot imagine what the Paralympics are going to feel like! I just hope I am there!



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February 23, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish para-alpine skier Úrsula Pueyo

Wikinews interviews Spanish para-alpine skier Úrsula Pueyo

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Úrsula Pueyo before the start of today’s cancelled slalom event
Image: Raystorm.

Earlier today, Wikinews interviewed Spanish para-alpine LW2 clasffied skier Úrsula Pueyo during a delay in the slalom event at the IPC Alpine World Championships at La Molina, Spain. Pueyo is the only woman on the Spanish 2013 World Championship team, and was the only female Spanish standing skier at the 2010 Winter Paralympics. Following the interview, event organizers announced the slalom had been cancelled for the day due to high winds and was rescheduled for tomorrow.

Úrsula Pueyo interview on cancelled slalom ski day.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png: Hello, we are with Úrsula Pueyo. Today is the slalom race. What are your sensations for the day?((es))

Úrsula Pueyo: Well, to be honest, my sensations for today are better than ever. I’ve been feeling really good while skiing, I am looking forward to competing, and I’m liking the slopes. The only thing is, let’s see if the weather will allow it.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Right, because the weather today is giving us a surprise… Let’s hope you can compete later.((es))

Úrsula Pueyo: Yes. Really, the race started, twelve competitors managed to go out and get times, and I had number 19 and I was left at the gate waiting to go. [Laughs]((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: How do you see yourself for Sochi [Winter Paralympics Games of 2014], in this last event before it?((es))

Úrsula Pueyo: Well, today’s the slalom, and on Tuesday and Wednesday the giant, so I hope to get other races in before Sochi [Laughs], but yeah, really looking forward to this one. And whatever comes next, will come.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: You’re the only woman in the Spanish team. Is that an issue ever for you? Is it different, challenging, being the only woman? Is gender an issue in women’s skiing?((es))

Úrsula Pueyo: Yes, I mean it’s not a problem in the Spanish team. Four men and a lone woman.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Do you think the level of the women’s skiing is the same level as the men’s?((es))

Úrsula Pueyo: Yes! The same. Maybe the men have more speed, but the technical level is the same.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Thank you very much!((es))



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February 20, 2013

Spaniard Jon Santacana wins the downhill at IPC Alpine World Championships

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miguel Galindo (front) and Jon Santacana (behind) cross the finish line in the downhill. With this race they won the event and became World Champions.
Image: Raystorm.

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This morning Spanish para-alpine skier Jon Santacana won the gold in the men’s visually impaired downhill at the IPC Alpine World Championships, which are taking place from February 20 to 27, 2013 at La Molina, Spain, and became the first winner of the Championships.

Santacana and his guide, Miguel Galindo Garcés, came in first in the downhill event to the joy of the local fans who had come to support the skiers. Italian Alessandro Daldoss won the silver medal, and Canadian Chris Williamson won the bronze.

Santacana won gold in the Super-G, Super Combined, and Giant slalom events in the last World Championships held in Sestriere, Italy, in 2011, in which he also won silver in Downhill and Slalom. At the most recent Winter Paralympics, he earned a gold in the Downhill.

Born in San Sebastián, this para-alpine skier classified as B2 is considered Spain’s best hope for the 2014 Winter Paralympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.



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Spaniard Jon Santacana wins downhill at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

Spaniard Jon Santacana wins downhill at 2013 IPC Alpine World Championships

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miguel Galindo (front) and Jon Santacana (behind) cross the finish line in the downhill. With this race they won the event and became World Champions.
Image: Raystorm.

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This morning Spanish para-alpine skier Jon Santacana won the gold in the men’s visually impaired downhill at the IPC Alpine World Championships, which are taking place from February 20 to 27, 2013 at La Molina, Spain, and became the first winner of the Championships.

Santacana and his guide, Miguel Galindo Garcés, came in first in the downhill event to the joy of the local fans who had come to support the skiers. Italian Alessandro Daldoss won the silver medal, and Canadian Chris Williamson won the bronze.

Santacana won gold in the Super-G, Super Combined, and Giant slalom events in the last World Championships held in Sestriere, Italy, in 2011, in which he also won silver in Downhill and Slalom. At the most recent Winter Paralympics, he earned a gold in the Downhill.

Born in San Sebastián, this para-alpine skier classified as B2 is considered Spain’s best hope for the 2014 Winter Paralympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.



See also

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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February 10, 2013

Channel 4 wins rights to UK broadcast of 2014, 2016 Paralympics

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has given the rights to broadcast the 2014 Winter Paralympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics in the United Kingdom to Channel 4, the same channel who broadcast UK coverage of the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.

The channel has agreed to broadcast in excess of 45 hours worth of coverage from the upcoming 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi — which Channel 4 called “the most ever by a British broadcaster” in a press release — and over 500 hours worth, across three live streams, for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.

“This is the first time the IPC has agreed a two Games deal with a TV station and I would like to thank Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 for their support and co-operation”, said IPC President Sir Philip Craven. “To sign up such a high quality broadcaster so soon after the conclusion of the Games underlines the growth of the Paralympic Movement and the significant impact London 2012 had.”

Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham said he was “delighted” by the decision. Coverage of 2012 London Paralympics gave Channel 4 notable ratings and “had a meaningful and positive impact on UK attitudes to disability and disability sport in general”, Abraham said.

In a statement, Channel 4 said the IPC wants to announce other broadcasters soon for the two upcoming Paralympics .



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