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Wheelchair Basketball, rolling to Paralympics gold

Sports competitions among people with disabilities in Russia are not uncommon. Typically, they are friendly or charity events. Wheelchair basketball, which originated in the U.S., is no exception.
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Yuri Smityuk

Sports competitions among people with disabilities in Russia are not uncommon. Typically, they are friendly or charity events. Wheelchair basketball, which originated in the U.S., is no exception.
The Primorye Club in Vladivostok covers all varieties of basketball: classic, street, and now basketball for "people with limited mobility." Here, too, friendly and charity games are held. Both teams are a mix of public figures and athletes with disabilities.

Yuri Smityuk

The Primorye Club in Vladivostok covers all varieties of basketball: classic, street, and now basketball for "people with limited mobility." Here, too, friendly and charity games are held. Both teams are a mix of public figures and athletes with disabilities.
"Such charity matches never used to be held. But now in Russia and worldwide, famous people, politicians, officials, and showbiz stars do not hesitate to sit in a wheelchair and play with athletes," said Yevgenia Mushtakova, assistant director of a public organization for disabled persons.

Yuri Smityuk

"Such charity matches never used to be held. But now in Russia and worldwide, famous people, politicians, officials, and showbiz stars do not hesitate to sit in a wheelchair and play with athletes," said Yevgenia Mushtakova, assistant director of a public organization for disabled persons.
"It's a friendly match, so there are no winners or losers. We’d like to raise funds in support of the Paralympic Movement, but all contributions are totally voluntary."

Yuri Smityuk

"It's a friendly match, so there are no winners or losers. We’d like to raise funds in support of the Paralympic Movement, but all contributions are totally voluntary."
Both teams are mixed, and include women who have only recently taken up rugby and wheelchair basketball. It’s sport for those ready to face a challenge... and not just for men! "I took up basketball quite recently; most of my time is dedicated to wheelchair fencing. It’s tough playing with men, of course — they are stronger and faster. But the guys help us out and show us what to do,” says participant Natalia Borovaya.

Yuri Smityuk

Both teams are mixed, and include women who have only recently taken up rugby and wheelchair basketball. It’s sport for those ready to face a challenge... and not just for men! "I took up basketball quite recently; most of my time is dedicated to wheelchair fencing. It’s tough playing with men, of course — they are stronger and faster. But the guys help us out and show us what to do,” says participant Natalia Borovaya.
"Passions run high — after all, it’s a game of speed and skill. I believe that you should always try to prove yourself, keep moving, and develop physically and morally."

Yuri Smityuk

"Passions run high — after all, it’s a game of speed and skill. I believe that you should always try to prove yourself, keep moving, and develop physically and morally."
Wheelchair basketball appeared in 1946 in the U.S. During the Second World War, basketball players (and not just basketball) were seriously injured and maimed on the battlefield, but didn’t want to part company with their beloved game and so came up with their own version.

Yuri Smityuk

Wheelchair basketball appeared in 1946 in the U.S. During the Second World War, basketball players (and not just basketball) were seriously injured and maimed on the battlefield, but didn’t want to part company with their beloved game and so came up with their own version.
Now the game is played in more than 80 countries. Officially registered players alone number around 25,000. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) holds a world championship every four years; there are also annual club tournaments, and much else besides.

Yuri Smityuk

Now the game is played in more than 80 countries. Officially registered players alone number around 25,000. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) holds a world championship every four years; there are also annual club tournaments, and much else besides.
Wheelchair basketball has been part of the Paralympic Games since the very first competition in Rome in 1960.

Yuri Smityuk

Wheelchair basketball has been part of the Paralympic Games since the very first competition in Rome in 1960.
In Russia, wheelchair basketball began in Moscow and St Petersburg in 1990. It was played using indoor wheelchairs in sports halls with no markings and virtually no rules, and resembled a children's ball game.

Yuri Smityuk

In Russia, wheelchair basketball began in Moscow and St Petersburg in 1990. It was played using indoor wheelchairs in sports halls with no markings and virtually no rules, and resembled a children's ball game.
In 1993, Moscow hosted the first Russian Wheelchair Basketball Championship, which was won by Moscow’s FSK.

Yuri Smityuk

In 1993, Moscow hosted the first Russian Wheelchair Basketball Championship, which was won by Moscow’s FSK.
To date, the country has eight professional teams based in Moscow, Kazan, St Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, and Yekaterinburg. The team Spartak-Primorye (pictured) from Vladivostok is the youngest and eighth entry in the list.

Yuri Smityuk

To date, the country has eight professional teams based in Moscow, Kazan, St Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, and Yekaterinburg. The team Spartak-Primorye (pictured) from Vladivostok is the youngest and eighth entry in the list.
February 4, 2014
Tags: sport, olympics

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