“The sport is developing fast in Azerbaijan. It is exciting and very pleasing to see that people with physical impairments and other limitations are in sports and gain important successes at sport competitions. On the one hand this demonstrates how courageous you are and on the other hand this demonstrates that you are taking steps to strengthen your health and you are perseverant to increase your participation in the life of community and society. These deserve high-level appreciation. I think we should highly regard your sport activities…
This is a significant success of our people, our nation, our independence and those people who have dedicated themselves to this work. It is surprising, when someone feels ill or has some limitations, usually we observe low self-esteem and they cannot hold themselves up. But you have removed all barriers created by your physical limitations by your perseverance, your courage and your talent. You and people like you deserve the highest respect in our society. I can say that you actively participate in the life of the society. The very exam taken by the Olympic sportsmen and Paralympics sportsmen indicate that the Azerbaijani youth and sportspeople have great potential. We all need to utilize this potential with great efficiency. First of all, we need to do this because you are setting example for the Azerbaijani youth to join the sport. One of the strategic goals of our policy is to make sure that young people are physically and intellectually healthy. And of the important ways to achieve this outcome is through sports and physical…I would like to stress it out that this is an important direction in our policy. All of the work done by you and all of the successes achieved by you set the right example for the young generations.
We are all taking special pride from these, but you also should proud of this. Because, you are setting an example to others like you among the Azerbaijani youth.»
From the Speech made during the meeting with the participants of the XI Summer Paralympics Games in Sydney
November 15, 2000