President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with the champions and winners of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016, the coaching staff, team doctors and handed the high state awards to the best sportsmen.
Poroshenko said he was glad to be able to meet with everyone who prepared the successful performance of our athletes and adequately presented their home country, to thank each of them. "The country is proud of you, dear athletes", he said.
"Thank you for such a powerful representation of Ukraine, because this is a great victory gained by immense will of each of the athletes”, the President said. “Thank you for your patriotism and your love for Ukraine. Thank you for showing the true Ukraine in Rio, in Brazil. Thank you for getting the glory in the name of Ukraine".
He reminded that the National Olympic team of Ukraine won 11 medals, highlighting performances of gymnast Oleg Vernyaev and canoe rower Yuriy Cheban.
"The real heroes were the athletes who deservedly received silver and bronze medals. I can say that there was extremely tight race for this silver and bronze, the desire to reach the top in spite of everything. And sometimes, silver is worth more than gold", said Poroshenko.
Especially President noted the Paralympic team of Ukraine, which performed in Rio and is rightly called one of the best in the history of the team and the pride of every Ukrainian citizen. "To say that this is the best performance in its history of the Paralympic team - it is not to say anything. Ukrainian team showed its vanguard role in the global Paralympic Movement, because of the pride of the right to be in the top three sports states from more than 170 countries", he said.
Ukrainian Paralympians won 117 medals, of which 41 are gold, 37 are silver and 39 - bronze. Athletes have set 22 world records, 32 - Paralympic records and 54 European records for Paralympic sports, the President recalled.