The inaugural European Games in Azerbaijan are breaking new ground for disabled athletes.
In what some see as a trial run for the eventual inclusion of disabled sport into the Olympics, blind judo is a fully integrated part of the European Games program and counts toward the overall medal table. At Friday’s blind judo competitions came all the passion, protests and dreams found in the able-bodied events on the program.
“I expected more from myself,” said Russia’s Natalia Ovchinnikova, weeping after a defeat that put her out of medal contention, adding that she is still happy to be at the games. “It’s really classy here, better than everything.”
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