Supporting Paralympic Sport

 

As a keen supporter of Russian sport as well as its development and progress, the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation contributes to various sports projects and provides targeted support to young athletes. The Foundation pays particular attention to improving access to sports for people with disabilities.

One of the athletes supported by the Foundation is Pavel Poltavtsev, Honoured Master of Sport, World Champion as well as World and European record holder in Paralympic swimming, and a Gold Medalist at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Pavel started swimming aged eight, hoping to improve his health. Despite a congenital leg problem, he demonstrated amazing successes and soon moved on from the fitness swimming group to athletic swimming training. At the age of 16, Pavel Poltavtsev became a Master of Sports. Having repeatedly come first in several Russian championships, he took silver at the European Youth Festival in 2005 — competing among able-bodied athletes! Sadly, his relentlessly progressing illness forced him to move into Paralympic swimming.

In Paralympics, Pavel steadily continued to move ahead, winning numerous titles. The greatest and toughest of all his victories, however, is of course conquering his own body and his illness. Today Pavel is a hero in his native town of Novotroitsk and the pride of Russia.

At 20 years of age, at the 2009 Rio de Janeiro IPC Swimming World Championships, Pavel Poltavtsev set a new world record for the one hundred meters breaststroke performed on a short course (25-meter pool). Pavel arrived in Brazil already a Champion of Europe, having just swam the 100m breaststroke in Reykjavik, Iceland in a record time for a Paralympian: 1 minute and 8.41 seconds. In Brazil Poltavtsev managed to beat his own record, improving the result by a full 6 seconds. In 2010, Pavel Poltavtsev was awarded the title Honoured Master of Sport of Russia.

In September 2012, Pavel Poltavtsev became a champion at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Pavel returned from London, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic capital, with three medals. The first one was won in the 4×100 meters freestyle relay, where Pavel finished third. In his favourite, 100m breaststroke, Pavel Poltavtsev took the gold, setting a new world record of 1 min 04.02 sec. The third was a silver medal in the men’s combined swimming relay race 4×100 meters.

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