A lack of ramps and elevators and minimal access to public transportation means that only the hardiest of those with physical disabilities can leave their homes on their own, let alone keep up with the rigorous training regimen and travel schedule of a successful athletic team.
“We are used to fighting,” Mr. Shilov said. “Fighting, firstly, for our survival against staircases and other barriers.”
At a practice last month, Mr. Shilov and his teammates had to avoidcars and pedestrians walking dogs while doing laps in their wheelchairsin the parking lot that serves as their training center for summersports.
Even getting to practice can be a workout. Athleteswithout cars have to hoist themselves up and down the stairs of subwaystations and underground crossings.
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