Multiple World, European and Russian cross-country skiing champion Mikhail Slinkin, YUSU Institute of Economics student, majoring in Economic Security, is going to represent the Russian Federation at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in the snowboard cross and banked slalom disciplines.

Born in the village of Sherkaly, Oktyabrskiy District, Mikhail is a hometown hero in Ugra. He has been into professional cross-country skiing for six years straight, having secured medals at Russian Championships. Along with his winter sports successes, the athlete was honing track and field skills to get two podiums in the 2015 World Championship sprint competitions, in the Netherlands. In 2016, Mikhail switched to snowboarding, followed by the snowboard cross event gold triumph in the National Championship in March 2017.

"I have been pursuing this goal for as long as nine years, with tough training, sporting schedule and the support of my relatives to have helped me succeed and fulfill the life's dream!" the YUSU student said. "I feel amazingly honored and proud, and of course immensely responsible. I felt that same way when I got lucky to be a Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics Torchbearer, jogging down the streets in my hometown."

As a kid, Mikhail Slinkin dreamed of eyewitnessing the Winter Paralympic Games, being steady in his goal: "Like everyone else I had my ups and downs, but owing to the Ugra Center for Adaptive Sports and my family I managed to join the national team; it all has made me unutterably happy," the athlete explains. "During the Games, our team will be under the close surveillance of IOC officials.  We have already been aware of strict rules and regulations we must follow during the competitions. I believe it will add to the impetus to prove our worth to the world".

To note, on February 28, Mikhail Slinkin topped the men's snowboard cross individual standing, winning gold medal in the 2018 National Championship in Russia's Far Eastern city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

English version by Azat Garipov.