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Popovich: Sports have huge influence on disabled
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16:47, September 16, 2008

"Sports have a huge influence on the disabled -- both athletes and the average," said U.S. paralympic swimmer Erin Popovich on Monday.

Sports can help them strive for physical fitness and physical awareness of the body, and raise their everyday life quality, she added.

"Hopefully, the Paralympics here is helping create awareness in all people with physical disabilities, and we really see an increase in Paralympic Games," said Popovich.

Popovich bagged four golds and two silvers at the current Paralympics. Feted as as the "Michael Phelps" at the pool of Paralympics, she won three gold medals in Sydney and another seven in Athens.

Popovich said she felt proud to be honored as Phelps -- "the greatest swimmer of all time."

"He is a phenomenal athlete. I'm very proud to be mentioned in the same sentences with him," said Popovich with a smile.

The 23-year-old also said she has a great time in Beijing. "To be able to compete in this venue, the Water Cube, has been phenomenal. Every night, there is a wonderful crowd, and it really welcomes us with open arms," said Popovich.

Popovich said she planned to go out and see sights in the next few days, so as to "experience more about Beijing and China as a whole."

Source:Xinhua

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