Youth and Sports Minister of Ukraine Vadym Gutzeit hopes that Ukraine will be among the top three at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
"I believe that there will be many medals, and the athletes will perform at a high level. The only thing that can interfere is the situation with COVID-19," Gutzeit said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
When asked whether the Ukrainian team will be in the top three, the minister said that he hoped for it.
Regarding the significant differences in the results of Ukraine at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Gutzeit said that it is impossible to compare Olympic and Paralympic sports.
"There are completely different approaches here. If the Olympic movement is developing all over the world and for all countries the Olympics is the most important event in sports, then the Paralympic movement is really developing only in ten countries of the world. And Ukraine is in this top ten," he added.
The minister believes that Ukraine's success at the Paralympics is associated with good funding and the construction of appropriate sports facilities.
"All conditions are being created so that the Paralympians feel that they are normal people, that they go in for sports and fight for their awards," he said.
Also, the minister called the presence of a large number of veterans who go in for sports as a factor in the success of the Ukrainian Paralympic team.
"For example, we have recently hosted the Warrior Games. This is the largest competition among military personnel and veterans who were injured, wounded and are ill as a result of their official duties in the combat zone. According to the results of the competition, the National Team of Ukraine was formed from 40 participants, which will represent our country for the first time at the international competitions Warrior Games in Orlando (U.S.) in September 2021, in which more than 500 combatants from eight countries of the world (U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Georgia, Denmark, Ukraine) will take part," Gutzeit said.
As reported, the Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo from August 24 to September 6. The Paralympics will be attended by 143 Ukrainian athletes who will compete in 15 sports. In Tokyo, 540 sets of awards will be awarded among representatives of 168 countries.