Less than a month is left before the start of the XVIII Winter Deaflympics. Shortly before this major sport event the President of the Russian Committee of Deaf Sports Alexander Romanstov has visited Khanty-Mansiysk.
– Alexander Nikolaevich, tell us about the aim of your visit to the capital of Ugra.
– It’s our fifth time in Khanty-Mansiysk, and every time the list of issues we are dealing with becomes shorter. I can confirm that everything is done in accordance with the time-schedule. Only some minor tasks are to be solved. For example, now we were discussing the work of volunteers, logistics and some organizational moments of Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
–Are there some medal plans for Russian Deaflympic team? Will it do its best to win in the unofficial medal count?
– Taking into account that the Ministry of Sport of Russian Federation has given grant to the Russian Committee of Deaf Sports on developing Deaflympic disciplines – alpine skiing, curling and snowboard – we expect our performance in these sports to be very good. They were included in the program of Deaflympics before, however Russia was not participating in them; we were winning medals in ice-hockey and cross-country skiing. However, this was enough for being on top of the medal count. Now the situation is different, that’s why our main goal was to develop three above-mentioned disciplines. And this was worth it. Now we are the European champions in deaf curling and have won silver in men’s tournament and gold in women’s tournament on the Deaf Curling World Championships. In snowboarding we have a lot of third places in international competitions, sometimes we win silver, and however, it is very difficult to get gold.
– Is it already known who will be the flag-bearer of our national team?
– It is too early to talk about this. All team members are currently on their training sessions, we will meet together only after March’20 in Moscow. On March’24 the farewell ceremony will take place on Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow. Until that moment we will make the list of candidates for the position of flag-bearer. It will be the most honorable athletes, most probably cross-country skiers.
– What is planned for the farewell ceremony for the national Deaflympic team?
-There’re no secrets or surprises, the farewell ceremonies are held on Poklonnaya Gora since 2005, so everything will be made in accordance with the traditional procedure. Silent drill platoon will bring out the flag of the Deaflympics, the officials of the Executive Office of the President will read the messages of the President and the Head of the Government of Russian Federation. The ceremony will end with a photo shoot of the national Deaflympic team.
– Are there any VIP guests or famous athletes coming to the Deaflympics? Who will visit Khanty-Mansiysk?
– Of cause, we hope that Vladimir Putin will visit the Games. After all this is the third winter Olympiad hosted in Russia in a row and the presence of the President will inspire athletes. Representatives of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf will also attend the Games. It is also expected that the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Arkadiy Dvorkovich will come to Khanty-Mansiysk.