On the eve of the International "Four Nations" tournament in ice sledge hockey, the head coach of Russia, Sergey Samoylov and leading players of the team held a master class for media representatives at the Shayba Arena. Reporters had a unique opportunity to not only try on equipment and to understand the differences, specifics and nuances of the sport, but also to practice with the team and assess the quality of the ice at the arena, which will host the Paralympic Winter Games in 2014 and is fully equipped for the needs of Paralympic athletes.
Russian national team players attended the master class such as sledge hockey stars and team leaders, the bronze medalist at the World Championships and 4-times bronze medalist at the Russian Championships Dmitry Lisov, and the team captain and bronze medalist at the World and 3-times winner of the Russian Championships Vadim Selyukin.
Head coach of the Russian national ice sledge hockey team Sergey Samoylov said:
"I am very pleased that just six months before the first Paralympic Winter Games in Russian history, we held a master class for media representatives. The journalists will after all be a knowledge guide about the Paralympics and ice sledge hockey, which is only just gaining popularity in our country. Today's master class at which they learned more about the rules of the ice sledge hockey will certainly contribute to promoting the sport and the Paralympic Movement in general."
The international "Four Nations" Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament will be staged in Sochi between August 26 and September 1. The tournament will not only open the pre-Olympic season, but will be the last of a series of Test Events for Paralympic sports before the Games. The competition will bring together teams from Russia, Canada, the Czech Republic and Norway.
The "Four Nations" tournament will allow the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee to fully test Shayba Arena for the readiness to take on the highest level of the first-ever Russian Paralympic Games in 2014.
XI Paralympic Winter Games
The XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi will be staged from March, 7 to March 16, 2014. 1,650 athletes and team members from 45 countries will attend. 72 sets of awards will be contested in 5 Paralympic sports.
There will be a total of 25,000 volunteers and around 13,000 accredited press representatives, TV and radio broadcasters and photographers at the Sochi Games in 2014. A TV audience of approximately 3 billion will watch the Sochi Games around the world.
Ice sledge hockey
After its debut at the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in 1994, the Paralympic version of ice hockey quickly became one of the most attractive spectacles for fans. It is dynamic, requiring good physical preparation for the game involving male athletes with disabilities of the lower body. Coordination of the sport is implemented by the IPC with the assistance of the ice hockey technical committee of the IPC, in accordance with the rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with some modifications. Instead of skates, players use sledges with two runners, allowing the puck to slip under them. Players use two sticks: with teeth on one end for pushing and a hook on the other for hitting the puck.