It is delightful that also the Winter Paralympic Games are perceived with more and more respect by the general public, and even more delightful is the fact that Slovenská pošta decided to support them by publishing a special postage stamp. This occasional stamp, designed by a academic painter Karol Felix, is depicting a couple of downhill skiers: a navigator and a handicapped contestant, who are going through a slalom gate. This depiction has never been used before, so this stamp deserves the first place among the stamps with Paralympics motives, apart from the substantial artistic value.
As a rule, the Paralympic Games take place shortly after the Olympics; in the same city and in the same sports facilities. This habit creates a kind of bond between the healthy athletes and those who haven’t been so fortunate but have a heart and willpower to struggle with their fate and want to prove that they also want it and can do it. In the spirit of this tradition, the 11th Winter Paralympics are taking place on 7th – 16th March 2014 in the Russian city of Sochi at the foot of the Caucasus. Almost 700 athletes are going to participate and compete for 72 sets of medals. For the first time in the history of the Winter Paralympics Games, para-snowboarding for standing contestant will be presented among other typical winters sports, such as downhill and cross country skiing, biathlon, curling, and sledge hockey.
The Slovak Paralympic representation is quite ambitious, and wants to continue in their actual accomplishments again (the 4th place of all nations from Vancouver 2010). Our representation includes about 50 participants; half of them are contestants, navigators and supporting team for downhill skiing having the highest ambitions. We will also be represented by curling, cross country skiing and snowboarding. So keep our fingers crossed not only for our triple Paralympics downhill skiers from Vancouver 2010 H. Farkašová and J. Krak, but wish luck to others to stand up to the competition of contestants from all over the world, so they bring, if not medals, at least a pride for their performance and the feelings that they also can and manage to do it. And that is much more than the majority of the supposedly healthy nation watching their performance in the warmth of their homes can do...
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